From an Ordinary School Day to a Life-Changing Experience

From an Ordinary School Day to a Life-Changing Experience

By: Jamie Rashty, Sharsheret Student Volunteer

As a fifteen year-old teenage girl I never really thought about breast cancer as a disease that affects thousands of women all over the world every day. I never considered breast cancer at all until October 28th, 2010. That day, Akiva Hebrew Day School initiated “Pink Day”, a day dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness. I don’t think I have ever seen so much pink in my entire life! From the school itself covered in pink streamers, balloons, and posters, to the entire Akiva administration, high school, and middle school student bodies dressed head to toe in pink clothing, we were impossible to miss! The day started off with a special prayer for women who are currently living with breast cancer. Following prayer that morning, we attended a fun breakfast of pink bagels, pink cupcakes, pink candies, pink tableware, everywhere I turned all I saw was pink!

Later that day we watched a Sharsheret video presentation, which helped us to fully understand the incredible programming and assistance Sharsheret offers to women and families facing breast cancer across the country. Everyone was truly touched by the amount of work put into Sharsheret and every good deed they do for women and their families. Following the video, the entire Akiva high school, middle school, faculty members, and even parents took a mile-long walk for the cause. As both the Israeli and American flags blew in the wind amidst the group of young, pink-covered teenagers taking a stand, feelings of pride and importance were vibrant throughout the community. The walk brought the Akiva community together in fighting for a cause that would forever be close to our hearts since that day.

After returning from the walk, the boys and girls were divided into two special programs. While the boys learned about cancer and its effect on men, the girls participated in an exhilarating “Jazzercise” program, promoting the idea of remaining healthy through exercise. We all felt strong and self-motivated after completing such a hearty workout run by two-time breast cancer survivor, Jane McNamara. As I loaded up my backpack to go home, I felt empowered by the entire program. I was inspired not only by Sharsheret, but by what I now know I can do as a young teenager in order to take a stand on the issue and make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.