The President’s Award for Volunteers 2010
The President’s Award for Volunteers 2010 is bestowed on Shelly Kapusta for her launching, leading and nurturing the national project of Public Cord Blood Banks.
The President’s Award for Volunteers, the most prestigious in the field of volunteering, is given each year by the President of the State of Israel to twelve recipients. The aim of the award is to recognize work of individuals and groups in all sectors of the population, and to encourage the spirit of volunteering in Israel’s society. Hundreds of recommendations for suitable candidates are examined by a special judicial committee. Twelve winners, whose voluntary efforts have been most prominent that year, are selected. The winners are presented with the President’s Award in a ceremony held each year at the President’s Residence.
“In 1999 Shelly Kapusta was diagnosed with Chronic Leukemia and received an bone marrow transplantation. In 2001 Shelly began looking for ways to help other patients in need. In 2004, Shelly founded the Israel Public Cord Blood Bank (ICBB), and ever since has served, in a full-time volunteering capacity, as its chairman.
“As well as promoting public awareness and the legislature for creating the Cord Blood Law in the Knesset, Shelly accompanies patients and their families in the difficult stages of dealing with illness and the attempts to heal them.
”To promote the use of Cord Blood and enlarge the circle of supporters who cultivate and champion the idea, Shelly enlisted her acquaintances and prominent public and philanthropic figures. In this way she secured resources in Israel and abroad for the foundation of the activities of the new Cord Blood Banks, which have already saved the lives of many patients.
“Through her dedicated work Shelly supports and is involved with the activities of the Magen David Adom and Bedomaich Chayi Cord Blood banks. She deals with budgeting and connections with the authorities and institutions, where she has personal contacts with patients and their families.
“Many of the patients she has helped were saved thanks to the Cord Blood Banks, and affirm the ongoing contact she has with them, of her frequent visits to hospital wards, and of the great hope she instills in them in the difficult time in their lives.“