Fear. Trauma. Sorrow. Solidarity.
For more than a dozen years, Sunrise’s programs in Israel have been an immense source of pride as we provided respite and normalcy for thousands of Israeli children afflicted with cancer – both Jewish and Arab. Today our hearts are broken as we witness the horrible loss of innocent lives from this horrendous conflict: the displacement, the fear and the sobering impact of this unprovoked war. As we watch the region devolve into turmoil, we fear for our Sunrise-Israel partners, our families and the stability of these life-affirming programs that we have worked so hard to build over countless years.
While our families in Israel are forced to deal with the overwhelming issues that arise after a cancer diagnosis, the war has created a level of fear and anxiety that has elevated these concerns to near-unmanageable levels. Whatever amount of normalcy these children have left is now impacted hourly by the endless relocation to bomb shelters, the scenes of chaos surrounding them in hospitals that previously were seen as centers of healing and safety, and the deafening sounds of explosions and sirens. Parents have been called to active army duty, children are afraid to leave their homes, and families have been relocated out of harm’s way as projectiles fly over their communities. Our staff have also been impacted, as they must divide their time to meet the challenges of living and working in a country at war, even as they struggle emotionally to manage the images of the inhumane horrors they have witnessed.
With the nation now at war, events and fundraising activities that allow Sunrise-Israel to provide their life-affirming services are no longer accessible. Yet at the same time, these services are needed more than ever. With three camps and year-round in-hospital programs caring for hundreds of children each year, we must remain steadfast to our mission: to care for all children with cancer and their siblings, providing them a glimpse of happiness and normalcy amidst the tragedy of their disease. Even while rockets are flying overhead, our staff and volunteers are today working in multiple hospitals to tamp down the fear and reassure our children. And while summer camp may be months away, our children need the hope and promise of returning to the programs and friends they treasure; something we can only assure them of with your help.
Today, our mission is more important than ever.
Your support is urgently needed to enable Sunrise Israel to remain stable, so as to serve the hundreds of families for whom we are a lifeline. Sunrise is more than our programs – we are community of survivors and caregivers who have each other’s back in times of crisis. Now is the time for us to have their backs – to be there for our Sunrise-Israel family in their darkest hour, and to assure that the sun will rise for our children and families.