The President of the State of Israel, H.E. Reuven Rivlin, and his wife Nehama, opened the 'Door Knock' Fundraising Campaign and the 2015-2016 Year of Activity, in a moving ceremony.
The annual event held at the Presidential Residence was attended by the Minister of Health, Mr. Yaakov Litzman, ICA Chairman, Prof. Eliezer Robinson, ICA Vice Chairman, Mr. Leon Recanati, the ICA Executive Board, child patients and survivors, their families, and scores of ICA volunteers.
Mrs. Miri Ziv, ICA Director General, who served as Master of Ceremonies, was presented the prestigious and distinctive 2015 AACR Award for Distinguished Public Service and Global Impact in Cancer Advocacy.
In his speech, the President of Israel mentioned that this annual event has its roots in a tradition which commenced during the term of the second President of the State of Israel, the late Mr. Yitzhak Ben Zvi, and which was initiated by the late Mrs. Suzy Eban, ICA Founding President. This tradition has been continued by all Presidents of Israel who assume the position of ICA Patron and officially open the ICA Year of Activity and 'Door Knock' Fundraising Campaign.
The President also referred to the difficult struggle with cancer and treatments in which patients and their families are engaged. Furthermore, he cited that "I hope and pray that this year, every Israeli woman and man will open the door to their heart and home, when they hear ICA's wonderful volunteers knocking on their doors. Everyone will contribute something, even a token sum, to support this potentially life-saving fight, which you at the ICA are spearheading on behalf of all of us".
ICA Chairman, and Past President of the UICC, Prof. Eliezer Robinson, cited the ICA support and welfare activities geared towards patients, survivors and their families, the organization's support for research, as well as its public awareness campaigns which underline the importance of incorporating healthy lifestyle behaviors from a young age to prevent the risk of developing the disease.
Prof. Robinson wished the 55th 'Door Knock' Fundraising Campaign great success; this fundraising campaign constitutes an important source of funding for the continuing activity of the ICA, a volunteer organization which relies solely on public donations.
The Minister of Health, Mr. Yaakov Litzman, mentioned two important programs currently headed by the Ministry of Health, the MRI reform, and dramatic shortening of waiting time between appointments for the test, and the incorporation of life-saving drugs into additional health services, for all citizens of Israel.
Prof. Zelig Eshhar, 2015 Israel Prize recipient, related the scientific development of an anticancer vaccine that suppresses tumors, and enthusiastically introduced Yuval Aviv, a young teen who recovered from cancer thanks to the development of Prof. Eshhar's vaccine.
Prof. Zelig Eshhar with Yuval Aviv
The audience was spellbound by Ivri Lider's vocals, and was moved when he spoke about his personal acquaintance with cancer due to his mother's bout and struggle with the disease.
Ivri Lider performing at the Presidential Residence
A new and moving artists' song entitled 'Give us Strength', recorded by the ICA, was transmitted at the ceremony and moved the audience. The song was written by Iris Mor whose father died of cancer, and composed by Idan David. The group of artists and the children's choir 'Sounds of the Stage', led by Shlomo Gronich, volunteered to perform this song which was dedicated to the ICA's 55th 'Door Knock' Fundraising Campaign and the fight against cancer.
Photo credit: Mr. Yossi Zamir