Sharsheret

Our first ever post from freshman Marlee Ribnick. She’s from Minnesota, so that pretty much qualifies her as awesome. Also, she replaced Brett Favre as Vikings quarterback for one game. 

1 in 40 Jews carries a dangerous mutation that drastically increases the risk of Breast Cancer. When statistics like these hit so close to home, it’s comforting to know that there is an organization that was founded just to make things a little easier.

Sharsheret means “chain” in Hebrew. It symbolizes a strong, supportive connection between those affected by Breast Cancer personally, or otherwise, that Sharsharet strives to strengthen. Sharsheret is a non-for-profit organization that offers support to Jewish women facing Breast Cancer by making connections with others that can help out in a culturally relevant way. On Sharsheret.org, there are two lists of different programs that are open to all men and women who want to be involved. The first list is called “The Link Program”. Some of the programs listed under this title are “Best Face Forward: addressing the cosmetic side effects of treatment”, “Family Focus: providing resources and support for caregivers and family members”, and “Busy Box: for young parents facing cancer”. The second is a list of Education and Outreach programs, such as “Sharsheret on Campus” and “Health Care Symposia: on issues unique to younger women facing breast cancer and ovarian cancer”. Sharsheret does a very clear job of making all of its resources accessible to those who want to be involved with the cause.

This organization was founded in 2001 by Rochelle Shoretz to address Breast Cancer in a culturally relevant way to Jewish women.

“Young women need to be able to see and talk to young survivors in order to believe it’s possible to survive breast cancer and they are not alone. Information provided to young women should be targeted; women need to perceive information as personally relevant to women in their age group and culture.”

Sharsheret has responded to more than 23,000 breast cancer and ovarian cancer inquiries, gotten more than 1,400 supporters, and has given more than 250 educational presentations all over the country. The organization received the New York State Innovation in Breast Cancer Early Detection and Research Award, and is now a member of the LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance.

This chain Sharsharet has created is truly an important asset to the Jewish community. Not only does it supply resources, but it supplies comfort in a way that lots of other cancer-related organizations may not be able to when it comes to the nation’s Jewish population. Sharsheret combines spirituality and Jewish cultural values into it’s support strategies, and in doing so, it has impacted the lives of thousands.

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