Press Release

Sharsheret Launches Program to Support Young Mothers Fighting Breast Cancer

Hackensack, New Jersey (January 26, 2004)—Sharsheret, a national not-for-profit organization supporting young Jewish women facing breast cancer, has launched a new program to support young mothers fighting breast cancer. The Busy Box Program was developed in response to requests from women seeking support and resources to help them address the needs of their children during diagnosis, treatment, and post-treatment.

The Busy Box will be mailed to parents participating in Sharsheret’s national network, and will include resource materials, books, and a video to educate parents about the impact of breast cancer on their children. In addition, the kit will include a transcript of Sharsheret’s recent symposium, “How Do We Care For Our Children? Issues for Women and Men Facing Breast Cancer,” presented at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The symposium featured panelists who explored the effects of breast cancer treatments on children and families, the needs of children of all ages coping with a parent’s diagnosis, and the obstacles parents face in communicating with their children about breast cancer. The Busy Box will also feature a starter kit of games and activities to occupy children while their mother is at the doctor or resting after treatment.

“Perhaps the most significant concern for young mothers facing breast cancer is the impact cancer will have on their children,” says Rochelle Shoretz, Executive Director of Sharsheret. “At the same time, health care professionals offer few, if any, resources for patients seeking information about raising children through breast cancer. Sharsheret’s Busy Box Program will put these important resources in the hands of those who need them, in a convenient manner respectful of the busy lifestyles of the women in our network.”

The Busy Box Program was made possible by contributions from Toys “R” Us,, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, and American Cancer Society, and with support from the Treetops Foundation.

Sharsheret is the only national organization of cancer survivors dedicated to addressing the unique concerns of young Jewish women facing breast cancer. The organization connects those facing breast cancer or at high risk of developing breast cancer with peer supporters who share similar diagnoses and experiences. All services are confidential and free of charge.

For more information about Sharsheret or the Busy Box Program, please contact Program Coordinator Elana Silber toll-free at (866) 474-2774.