A Palestinian man donated tens of thousands of shekels to the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa to improve treatment of childhood cancers and Israeli-Palestinian medical cooperation after he himself underwent cancer treatment at the Israeli hospital.
After being diagnosed with cancer, a senior Palestinian official was directed to Rambam for further medical examinations and treatment. While hospitalized in the Joseph Fishman Oncology Center, he met with several families of patients from the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, and showed a particular interest in the needs of hospitalized children, both Israeli and foreign.
“When I arrived at Rambam [Hospital], I saw a medical team caring for patients, but I also saw the suffering of the sick children,” recalled M. in a statement [Rambam Medical Center spokespeople said they were not at liberty to reveal the man’s identity]. “Palestinian, Israeli, Syrian and children from other countries receive treatment in the hospital for a variety of serious illnesses and need all the help they can get. I decided to contribute as much as I could, both a humanitarian act and a symbol of solidarity.”
After completing treatment, M. underwrote the establishment of a children’s recovery room in the Institute of Radiology, inside the oncology center. The room provides a relaxing and supportive environment for children before and after chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments, among others.
The oncology center opened its doors in June 2016, but due to lack of funding, patients still receive radiation therapy in a different building. This accessibly problem requires patients walking outside to get to the current location of Rambam’s radiation therapy equipment when moving them hinders their recovery.
“Israeli and Palestinian both societies suffer from the damage of violence and I am striving towards a situation where we can all contribute to peace and health,” continues M. “One where we can take care of children, save lives, share knowledge and train Palestinian doctors at Rambam Hospital.”
M. added his goal is to improve the state of health systems and treatment capacities within the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, and encourage more Palestinians to contribute to health promotion between the two peoples.
“Medicine is a bridge between people and I hope that owing to this donation and those which will come after, we will all live a better tomorrow,” M. concluded.