Our Voices: A Blog by Links, Callers and Volunteers

Meet Sharsheret's 10 Triathlon Athletes

We are excited to introduce Team Sharsheret’s 10 athletes who will compete in the Nautica/NYC Triathlon on August 7, 2011. Our athletes have been training hard for this Olympic Distance Race that includes a 1500m swim, a 40k bike, and a 10k run! Please join us in supporting their athletic and fundraising efforts as they take on this incredible challenge.

Jonathan Blinken


David Bosses


Robert Eisenberg


David Glick


Judah Greenblatt


Mark Levie


Rebecca Schwartz


Talya Spitzer


Max Trestman


Laurie Wechsler Horn




Get in shape with Sharsheret!

Whether you’re an experienced athlete or a beginner, Team Sharsheret has lots of exciting opportunities to help you stay in shape and challenge your athletic abilities. Check out these events and competitions and let us know which one you want to sign up for!

  • Ever dream of running 26.2 miles? Team Sharsheret has slots for the ING NYC Marathon on November 6, 2011! Don’t live in the tri-state area? We offer one round-trip ticket from your U.S. hometown to a NYC area airport! E-mail athletes@sharsheret.org to apply for your slot today and include your name, phone number, and a brief description of yourself and why you want to join Team Sharsheret. For more information, visit Team Sharsheret 2011 ING NYC Marathon.
  • Join award-winning Team Sharsheret at the NYC Race for the Cure, September 18, 2011 in Central Park, NYC. Sign up before July 16th and save $5 at www.komennyc.org/goto/sharsheret2011 and click on the words "Join Team".
  • Team Sharsheret has slots for the now sold out 2012 Ironman US Championship, a 140.6 mile race, to be held in the greater NYC/NJ area on August 11, 2012. This race will be the first ever Ironman competition in the New York City metropolitan area. For more information, e-mail ekleinhaus@sharsheret.org.

From the Cab to the Conference: ASCO's Annual Meeting From a Patient's Perspective

By: Rochelle Shoretz, Founder and Executive Director

Each year, thousands of clinicians and researchers convene at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. Sprinkled among them are patient advocates and patients, like me, who attend sessions so that they can share the latest research with others. This year, I was fortunate to attend the ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago with a patient advocate scholarship from the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO, and I’m delighted to be able to share research in both breast cancer and ovarian cancer with you.

But first, I need to share a conversation I had with a cab driver on my way to a local outreach event we coordinated for cancer survivors and professionals.

“Let me ask you a question,” the driver began. “There are thousands of researchers and doctors attending this cancer conference, but there is still no cure for cancer. Isn’t this a waste of time and money?”

I’ve heard this question many times before, and I’ve answered it many times before. But this time, I was en route to meet some of our Sharsheret callers living in Chicago, and survivors interested in learning more about our national programs – and the answer seemed more urgent. As I explained to the driver, the research presented at ASCO may not, itself, be the cure for the cancer, but it certainly includes critical pieces to the larger puzzle. And even though that research may not offer the cure today, it is giving most of us living with cancer better quality of life and, some of us, longer lives to live.

I hopped out of the cab and headed into “Cocktails and Conversation”, an opportunity for me to meet with our Sharsheret callers and new women welcomed by our partner organizations in Chicago – Bright Pink, Cancer Legal Resource Center, FORCE, Gilda’s Club Chicago, MyLifeLine.org, and Y-Me. Everyone was buzzing about the conference and the research to be presented that weekend.

For those of us facing breast cancer, the big ASCO news stemmed from a study that showed that post-menopausal women who have a high risk of breast cancer were less likely to develop the disease when they received an aromatase inhibitor called exemestane (Aromasin). That news is important for many of our Sharsheret callers, as 1 in 40 Jews of Ashkenazi descent is at high risk of developing breast cancer (and ovarian cancer) because of a mutation they carry in what is commonly referred to as the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. You can read more about the study at http://bit.ly/iLSZuj.

For those of us facing ovarian cancer, scientists at ASCO presented promising research findings from two studies that examined the drug bevacizumab (Avastin) to treat recurrent and newly-diagnosed ovarian cancer. You can read more about those studies at http://bit.ly/iqlc4a.

You can call Sharsheret to speak with a genetic counselor or one of our clinical staff with any questions about these research studies.

As we exhibit and attend breast cancer and ovarian cancer conferences across the country, all of the staff at Sharsheret look forward to sharing our findings with you. Whether our perspectives are gleaned in the cab or the conference hall, we’re proud to be your source of support and information on this journey.

Counting Time

By: Shera Dubitsky, Sharsheret Clinical Supervisor

Beginning the second night of Passover until the night before the holiday of Shavuot, many Jews engage in the ritual of the counting of the Omer, the 49 days from Passover to Shavuot. The counting signifies a link between the Exodus from Egypt and slavery to the giving of the Torah and redemption. Every night after sundown, the Omer is recited using unusual terminology. For example we say, “Today is eighteen days, which is two weeks and four days of the Omer.”

As I have been reciting the Omer this year, I am reminded of how I frequently hear the women of Sharsheret counting. “Three more days until my surgery…. One week post-surgery, Three days waiting for my pathology report…. Third treatment in, five more to go….Today is two years post-treatment…. Six months until my next follow-up scan….”

Counting. Everything is carefully measured in time, particularly when faced with the challenges of living with cancer. The counting represents a link between feeling enslaved by cancer and treatments, and the hope for freedom from this disease. And then the counting begins again - but in a new way - “six-month survivor, five-year survivor, ten years since my diagnosis.”

There is another dimension to this counting. Women living with cancer are not merely watching the calendar; we are making our lives count. Every day I hear from women who are strengthening their relationships, not sweating the small stuff, and finding meaning in their lives. Throughout this journey, women are experiencing “aha moments” and they are sharing what they have learned and supporting one another. One caller recently shared that when she was home recovering from surgery, she spent a lot of time sitting with her kids, chatting, laughing, and watching television. These were moments that she would have earlier described as “doing nothing,” because she wasn’t running around doing things with her kids and for the kids. She realized that being still and focused in the simple moment of spending time together, made her feel more connected to them.

As I approach Shavuot, I am grateful to the women and families of Sharsheret for reminding me that it’s not just about counting time, but about making time count.

Sharsheret Presents Free National Teleconference & Webinar

To access the Teleconference:

Please call (888) 479-6525 at 7:55 p.m. (EDT).
To join the Webinar:

1) Complete the System Check before logging in.
Click or copy and paste this link into your browser address bar: https://www.conferenceservers.com/browser/?brand=conferencesuite

2) Go to: http://www.conferencesuite.com/join.html

3) Complete ALL required fields and click "Log In"

Participant Code: 98387292

Get Connected With Sharsheret In Chicago!

Watch exclusive interviews with Sharsheret’s Jewel families

Watch the video below.

Want To Run The ING NYC Marathon?

A New Take On The Four Passover Questions

By: Shera Dubitsky, Sharsheret Clinical Supervisor

Celebrating the Big 3-0 With Breast Cancer