Friday, January 30, 2009

Help me help Hadassah -- February 1-3, 2009

Hi everybody!

I'd like to invite all of you who read my blog to join the Young Hadassah International cause. From 1 February to 3 February, we are holding a Facebook-a-thon with a goal of raising $5,000 for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

What is Young Hadassah International?

YHI and Hadassah International (the organization with which I work) are nonprofit humanitarian organizations whose goals are to spread knowledge about, and raise money for, Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Our membership comprises men and women from a wide variety of faiths and nationalities who work together to achieve our mission of building bridges to nations through medicine.

What is Hadassah Hospital?

Hadassah Hospital is Israel's premier medical institution, renowned for its commitment to treat all patients with compassionate care regardless of ethnicity or religion. From its humble beginnings in 1913, when two nurses sailed to Palestine to provide proper nutrition for mothers with new babies and to eradicate trachoma, the hospital has grown into a world-class healing, teaching and research facility. At Hadassah, five thousand health professionals work to treat nearly one million patients each year. Recent research and treatment breakthroughs at Hadassah have been made in fields as varied as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, orthopedic surgery and cancer research. Among other projects, Hadassah's worldwide outreach program provides training in treating and preventing HIV/AIDS for Ethiopian doctors and nurses, established the first pediatric oncology department in the West Bank, and trains health experts around the world in emergency preparedness and terror medicine.

What is the Facebook-a-thon?

From 1 February to 3 February, we are asking people to go to to donate $20 to help buy much-needed medical equipment for Hadassah Hospital's Center for Individualized Medicine. The Center represents the medicine of the future, where we treat the patient, not just the disease. As research reveals the genes that make each of us a unique human being, patients will be able to receive targeted treatments that match their genetic profile. The cutting-edge fields of molecular medicine and cell therapy play a pivotal role as doctors strive to formulate individualized treatments for cancer and immune-mediated disorders. The Center for Individualized Medicine comprises:

  • the Center for Molecular Medicine, which provides doctors with the ability to analyze each person's genes and proteins individually;
  • the Center for Cell Therapy, where researchers are looking into transplanting individual cells to repair and regenerate damaged cells instead of transplanting whole organs and laying down the infrastructure to treat diabetic patients with transplanted pancreatic islet cells; and
  • the Center for Immune Mediated Disorders, where researchers are examining the mechanisms of autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, asthma, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and colitis to create specific patient-tailored treatments.

What if I can't donate $20?

That's okay! Most of Young Hadassah International's members and donors are students and young professionals between the ages of 18 and 35, and a lot of us have been affected by the current economic crisis. There are other ways for you to become involved, though. First, get informed -- check out the Hadassah International website to learn more about our activities and our relationship with Hadassah Hospital. If you're interested in receiving the latest news from the hospital and updates about YHI and Hadassah International's latest activities, subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about us. The more people who know about us and support us, the easier it is for us to meet our goals and help promote peace through medicine.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and let me know if you have any questions. I've only been officially working with Hadassah International since October, so I'm still learning the ropes around here, but I'll answer everything you want to know to the best of my ability. Hadassah is a cause that I'm really passionate about, and I hope it's one that you become passionate about, too.