My Amazing Opportunity
This summer I had the amazing opportunity to be an intern at Sharsheret. For many years I knew of Sharsheret through school events, like Pink Day, but I didn’t know much else until my mom reached out to Sharsheret in 2021. I was away at college when my mom was first diagnosed with breast cancer. I was dismayed that I was unable to be with her for her surgeries and recovery periods. Because we didn’t know many people in her situation, I was worried about who she would be able to talk to. However, when I came home from college, she told me about how she had contacted an organization called Sharsheret. She explained how she was able to benefit from valuable support from a social worker and advice from a genetic counselor, connect with a peer who had had a similar diagnosis, received care packages both before and after surgery, and overall felt just so much love and kindness. I was beyond grateful and absolutely amazed at the lengths that Sharsheret would go to help and support their callers.
A few years later, I heard that Sharsheret had internship opportunities, and I knew that I had to apply. I wanted so badly to be a part of this amazing organization and help people like they helped my mom.
Over the course of the summer I worked on some very fulfilling and interesting projects. For example, I worked on two projects for the outreach team. One project was contacting shuls around the country to see if they would like to partner with Sharsheret on an event. For Sharsheret to be able to do their amazing work, people need to be aware of Sharsheret and know to reach out for help. I understood through this project how important outreach is for an organization like Sharsheret. I also learned through my second project that Sharsheret isn’t only getting the word out about their organization, but they are spreading important information about breast and ovarian cancer and genetic mutations as well. My second project for outreach was to find mikvahs from all over the country so that Sharsheret could get in contact with them about training programs for the mikvah attendants on how to properly treat a cancer patient at the mikvah. This is so important for many reasons, one of which is that being able to go to the mikvah during or after treatment might be a way for someone to retain a sense of normalcy and routine when everything else in their life has been shaken up. Along with these outreach projects I also helped package pillows for callers. This was very meaningful to me, since my mom had once been a recipient of one of those pillows, and I know how much she loved it. I felt so good to be able to give that same joy to someone else.
Overall, this experience has inspired me to continue helping this community and keep spreading the word about Sharsheret, regardless of where I end up in my life. I have learned so much from the wonderful and kind people that work at Sharsheret, and I am so grateful to have had this experience.