Thursday, May 15, 2008

Today’s Subject Is Fighting Cancer

My book MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL is dedicated to Elaine Siegel Masser – my AEPhi sorority sister, college roommate and friend – who died at an early age from breast cancer.

On Monday evening I attended a reception at the AEPhi sorority house at UCLA for AEPhi alumni from chapters across the country. This was the first AEPhi function I’ve attended since I graduated from Michigan State University in 1969. At the function I learned that AEPhi nationally has just begun support of Sharsheret

Sharsheret is a national organization of cancer survivors dedicated to addressing the unique concerns of young Jewish women facing breast cancer. Sharsheret, Hebrew for "chain," was founded in 2001 by Rochelle Shoretz, a former law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who recognized the need for a breast cancer organization that would provide culturally sensitive support for Jewish women after her own diagnosis at age 28.

And then last night I received the email below from Hagan Black, the son of my good friend Loretta Savery (who I thank in the acknowledgments of MRS. LIEUTENANT). Hagan wrote:

I am participating in an event to benefit the American Cancer Society – -- Foothills Relay for Life. Our La Canada High School team will walk around the track for 24 hours with 30 other teams to raise money for cancer research, cancer patient support programs and advocacy. You probably know that my mom is the chair of this year's relay.

A special part of the relay is at 9 p.m. on Saturday night when we light over a thousand luminarias that have been purchased in honor of someone fighting cancer or in memory of someone who died of cancer. If you would like to purchase a luminaria bag and support our team, they are $10 each. You can purchase a bag or make a plain donation.

I’m also in the midst of reading Allison Winn Scotch’s novel THE DEPARTMENT OF LOST & FOUND about a young woman’s fight against breast cancer. And this book is also dedicated to the memory of the author’s close friend who died of breast cancer.

So it seems natural that this morning, when thinking about a post topic for today, I decided it was appropriate to blog about the above two cancer-fighting organizations as well as mention one other organization – Hurdle Jumpers – The motto of this organization, started by breast cancer survivor Janet Halbert, is “soaring over the obstacles of cancer treatment” Through oncology practices, Hurdle Jumpers distributes free kits designed to make a difference to people “who are about to start or are in the midst of cancer treatment.”

All three of these organizations are worthy recipients of donations. (Saturday night there will be a luminaria bag in memory of Elaine Siegel Masser.) And I hope that the information available through these organizations can help those of you in need of such information.

P.S. Just as I was about to post this blog, I got an email from the C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition – -– whose mission is “increased awareness that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable.” As a good friend’s sister recently died from colorectal cancer, I had to add this organization to my post. Check out the above website for more information.

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