More than 80 percent of the public believe that media exposure of celebrities who contract cancer is welcome because it increases awareness of the disease and helps other patients fight it, according to a survey conducted for the Israel Cancer Association (ICA) on the eve of Monday's annual Knock on the Door fundraising campaign.
According to the survey, carried out in mid-October among a representative sample of Israelis, 42% of respondents claimed that they take pains to eat a balanced diet and carry out physical activity on a regular basis. Only a quarter of those queried said they do neither.
About 80,000 schoolchildren and youth movement members will knock on doors around the country to raise money for the ICA, which hopes to collect NIS 10 million from the campaign. In addition, some 6,000 adults, including former cancer patients and volunteers from the ICA's 70 branches around the country, will join them.
Volunteers will also seek donations at prisons and police lockups. Banks will remain open until the campaign ends at 10 p.m., to allow for the deposit of the collected money.
Donations of any size will be welcome. Children of Israeli emissaries around the world will collect money for the war against cancer at 90 Israeli embassies and consulates abroad.
The money is used for cancer information, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.
According to the association, there are 120,000 Israelis who have been diagnosed with cancer, with 23,000 new cases every year, including 450 children. Breast cancer is most common, with 4,000 new cases a year, followed by colorectal cancer (3,000), prostate (2,000), lung (1,500), lymph gland (1,300), bladder (1,100), melanoma (950), leukemia (600), stomach (600), pancreas (500), uterine (400) and 190 other types of less common cancers.
The ICA urges donors to make sure they are actually giving to the organization by looking for the Hebrew-language receipts that volunteers give in exchange for money. In the past, people have solicited money for the ICA while representing themselves rather than the cancer association, and they do not have the official receipts.