A Step In The Right Direction

A Step In The Right Direction

“I bet they find a cure tomorrow!” my mother said, then shook her head as her eyes filled with tears.

It was midnight on April 2, 2009. I’d raced over to my parents’ home after getting the call I’d dreaded: My wonderful sister Emily, 37, had passed away after an 8-year battle with breast cancer.

I felt like I could collapse in grief. Yet I had to stay strong: Weeks earlier, a routine mammogram had revealed that I, too, had breast cancer. Despite years of helping Emily, there was nothing that could have prepared me for the shock, the questions, the fears. Should I use the same doctors? What treatments would I need? Would I ever feel okay again? Even as I mourned, I wrestled with these terrible uncertainties.

I wish I’d understood how much Sharsheret could have helped me. I could have gotten support to navigate the healthcare system, found counselors to help me deal with my grief and anxiety, and been matched with peers who’d been in my shoes, and had wisdom and encouragement to share.

I muddled through that terrible time, and am thankful to be healthy again. But I can only imagine how much more bearable it would have been with Sharsheret in my corner.

It was my best friend, Dana Adler, who first got involved with Sharsheret. For years now, she’s run marathons on the group’s behalf, many of them in my and Emily’s name. This year, she’s touched me even more deeply by asking me to co-chair Sharsheret’s Annual Benefit Luncheon, where she will be honored for her outstanding efforts.

While Dana has run many miles for Sharsheret, this will be my first step in supporting this terrific group. I’m incredibly excited! There’s lots of planning to do, envelopes to address, and logistics to work out. I’ll be chronicling these preparations in future blog posts for you. I’ve never co-chaired anything before, so if you come to the luncheon (and we really, really hope you will!), I’ll be the one looking clueless. Still, who could say no to a chance like this? This may be a Sharsheret benefit, but it’s really for the benefit of the many people Sharsheret helps every day. They deserve everything we can give.

It’s been nearly seven years since that night in my parents’ living room. And no, there’s still no cure for breast and ovarian cancers. But there’s help, and hope. There’s Sharsheret.