Lahav activists led us with a sure hand during the most difficult time we had. With support, guidance, creative solutions to individual hardships due to giving birth very far from home and more. I decided I wanted to be in their place, of those who help. The association, in the role of the association’s director.
What have we done in the LGBT in 17 years?
From its inception until today the association has done and achieved so much. 99% on a full-time basis: extension of paid maternity leave for mothers of preterm infants, extension of RSV vaccine labels Until the completion of the entire risk group, the promotion of the establishment of a breast milk bank in Israel, the director of medicine returns to the treatment of preterm infants in the communityDedicated allowance for preterm infants, raising awareness of the special needs of preterm infants and their families in Knesset committees for a decade, treating thousands of families with individual problems and exercising rights, promoting breastfeeding and pumping, cooler projects, pump donations, parent room renovations, membership in the breast milk advisory committee, membership In the Advisory Committee for Supportive Developmental Care and Empowerment of Parents in Premature Infants, Members of the EFCNI Association European (umbrella organization for parents’ associations for preterm infants), Support groups, 24/7 hotline and more.
“Mum works hard, so that no premature baby will go through what I went through,” says Lia, when asked what mum does. About 15,000 preterm infants are born in Israel each year, and they are changing the lives of their parents from end to end. In the 12 years I have been active in the association, I have touched thousands of families, and accompanied them through the difficult and complex period when they joined our family. Parent family for preterm infants. At the same time, every year anew, the association has a hard time keeping its head above water.
Want to keep fighting
Two years ago, after 10 years of volunteering, I decided, not inadvertently, to give up my livelihood and dedicate myself entirely to the organization. My husband, Oren, fully supported me and was even the initiator of the idea. He believed I would be able to produce successes. But we did not know that it was impossible to have a wide-ranging work, without a solid and solid base of employees, relying only on me and volunteers.
Volunteers come and go. And that’s okay. The challenges that miscarriage brings, and the levels of inclusion that this thing requires, an emotional effort that sometimes erodes, and even encounters good spoons (not out of lack of appreciation God forbid, but out of the distress and trauma that come with the situation).
We tried to raise a budget from the public because the state does not budget for some critical service that it does not provide. But we did not raise enough. For us to be successful we need facts and workers, even if it’s the meager salary I receive. Otherwise, we will not meet our important task – to continue to improve the quality of care for preterm infants, improve the condition of preterm infants, continue community care, and if not save lives ourselves – certainly save parents’ lives, and work to improve the quality of life of preterm infants.
With a heavy heart I feel that maybe it’s my time to move on, to the next destination. A very heavy heart because I had so many more things to promote and achieve for every expiration of the day. And for every peg of tomorrow. And his parents of course. But it is the same heart that prays, that a miracle will happen, and that the donations will come and that the state will recover. And we can continue to fight for preterm infants and their parents.
Feels symbolic, a bit like a premature baby. As if the association is Lia, who is fighting for life. And I do not know how to save her. How to make sure we get out of there together, and in life