Let's get personal: So what do you do when your best friend tells you she has cancer? A year ago Jamie* called me to confirm that the thing was A THING. To all boobed readers: check your body, nag your friends, check in with eachother, rinse and repeat.
Having been friends for 30 years of life's ups and downs, I was in the habit of filling our tough silences with constructive solutions or jokes that make us laugh. This time, I couldn't console, relate, or make things better. I spent a lot of time hoping that her journey was going to be quick and painless.
It was neither. And I'll say it, Jamie was a f*cking magician -- she kept on parenting her incredible kid, worked at her corporate job through her treatment, and somehow made time for friends, caring about others and their challenges as much as they cared about her.
When I asked Jamie's advice about an organization I could support for my every-fifth-year-marathon-mishagas (yiddish was necessary here), without hesitation she suggested Sharsheret, explaining the ways in which their peer-to-peer program was immeasurably helpful.
The emotions of diagnosis, treatment and the long road ahead can only be truly understood by someone IN IT (best friends, step aside!) -- which is why I am so grateful Sharsheret's programs exist to help others like Jamie find their people, get the support they need, and create lasting connections to get through all the twists and turns.
The bigger picture: There are endless causes that need our funds (what a year, 2020) but one constant during this health/social/climate crisis is people still have cancer. Hospitals are full of folks trying to get through their chemo week or radiation pain or surgery. Please consider a donation knowing that nearly all of your dollars translate to program services.
The funds raised will ensure that people will receive Sharsheret’s free mental health counseling, emotional support, financial subsidies and cancer education programs when they need them most.
If this were my only brush with these cancers, it would be one too many. Unfortunately, several of my friends have been affected. Support for organizations like Sharsheret help thousands of people and though it is a Jewish organization, they serve everyone -- I checked!
Running for good: As some of you may know, I made a wild commitment to run a marathon every 5 years, until I physically can't anymore, and raise funds for organizations with direct impact. I'll be running with Laura, again - we ran together in 2015 and plan to beat our time to raise funds for Sharsheret.
Thanks for your support,
PS: During my 2010 marathon run, Jamie waited at the 13 mile marker with a yellow smiley face balloon and a banana. Seems like she unknowingly brewed up an apt metaphor for approaching challenges -- wear a smile and bring snacks.
*Image 1 (above) Jamie is on the left and I'm on the right. I clearly stole her heavily fringed look for the rest of my life.
Image 2: Our 30th Birthdays in 2015
Image 3: Laura and I running the 2015 NYC Marathon