I Chose Sharsheret and Sharsheret Chose Me
The diagnosis of breast cancer hits home for me. My Aunt Hillary was diagnosed a few years ago and had to go through months of chemotherapy and surgery. I watched as my cousin, Sara, helped shave her head, how she would wrap herself in a blanket because she was always cold, and how weak she was. I always tried to give her a hug any time I could to remind her how very much I love her. It took a while, but she is now a survivor and I’m forever grateful for having my “aunt ReRe” back!
With my Bat Mitzvah quickly approaching, I chose Sharsheret as my mitzvah project in order to give back and help with this disease, in hopes of one day finding a cure and not having to watch anyone else I love go through the pain and heartbreak I watched my aunt go through. To this date, I have raised a total over $1,500 for Sharsheret by speaking at the woman’s Seder at our shul, by baking breast cancer ribbon cookies, and by contacting family and friends. And I’m not stopping any time soon.
When researching breast cancer organizations, my Mom came upon Sharsheret. Sharsheret, a not-for-profit organization supporting young Jewish women and their families fighting breast cancer, seemed like the perfect fit. After choosing this organization for my project, I also came to find out that their founder, Rochelle Shoretz, who unfortunately passed away from this devastating disease a few years ago, is also my Uncle’s first cousin. So, it seems that in the end, not only did I choose Sharsheret as my mitzvah project somewhere I feel as though it also chose me.
The word Sharsheret in Hebrew means chain, symbolizing the connections they make among woman and their families and communities facing breast cancer. It is the only national organization that specializes in supporting young women and their families of all Jewish backgrounds facing breast and ovarian cancer – those who are diagnosed and those at high risk.
2.5 million women are living with breast cancer, and more than 250,000 woman age 40 and under are living with breast cancer in the United States. What a scary statistic! I can only hope that my mitzvah project can help put a dent in these horrible statistics. I know I will continue to support Sharsheret my entire life, just as I will continue to squeeze my aunt ReRe extra tight every time I see her!