On a personal note

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Growing up in Cleveland, OH with the University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic at the epicenter of my community meant exposure to the medical field from a young age.

My hometown is filled with medical professionals. People from all over the world come to be treated at the health facilities in Cleveland and my community steps up to help them. We host families while their loved ones undergo procedures, we send homemade comfort food to recovering patients and we participate in fundraising activities highlighting various medical issues getting addressed here in our city. It is a source of pride to me.


Cleveland shaped my vision of my future. I felt connected to a world where people make a difference. I wanted to do the same. I dreamt of entering the medical field and changing the world.


Then it hit home on a more personal level.


A close relative in Israel desperately awaited a lung transplant.


My family jumped up to help, the way we helped others at home. We were ready to battle to get the results we needed.


Unexpectedly, we faced a wall we don’t face here; a compromised social health care system.


Our relative passed away waiting.


There was nothing for us to do.


I needed to change my focus. I set my eyes towards Israel with a clarity learned from tragedy.


I held Israel close to my heart. I spent many holidays in Israel with my parents. I lived there with my husband for the first four years of our marriage. I wanted to visit as often as possible. Israel was my vacation destination.


When my relative died, I found myself much closer to the real-life issues my Israeli friends and family faced regarding their healthcare. Although, for the most part, the Israeli medical system works, there are some serious flaws in it that may cost someone their life.


Because of my upbringing, I knew what people face when dealing with specialized medical problems and how difficult it can be to face it alone.


I had to make a change.


In the process, I met someone with a similar drive to me and wanted to make the same changes. His involvement assisting people going through medical difficulties exposed him to one particular issue which caught his attention; children born with cleft lip and/or palate. He witnessed the struggles families faced. Determined to find help, he searched all available avenues.


Finding no help geared towards cleft lip and/or palate, he created a unique organization to fill the space.


Sfat Halev was born.


We joined forces to create Israel Medical Fund, a non-profit organization based in Solon, OH that launches, funds and operates medical initiatives in Israel, including Sfat Halev.


Our goal is to bridge the gap wherever we can. Thanks to our dedicated supporters, we are well on the way.


Empathy is learned. We root our empathy in our experiences.


I learned empathy in Cleveland where I witnessed true humanity.


My partner learned empathy witnessing a mother struggle to feed her child with a cleft palate

and worry over what the future would hold.


Empathy alone is not an option. We ran with it and built something much bigger than us.


Run with us. Help us make changes that will keep running forward.


Run for kindness.


Run for care.


Run for love.


Run for smiles and be rewarded with smiles that will last a lifetime.

- Shoshana Dessler Jacobs