Mixing it up for the Jewish breast cancer organziation
By Deb Silverthorn
The pandemic doesn’t stop the pink, as October pushes Sharsheret’s commitment to outreach, awareness and assistance for those affected by breast and ovarian cancers.
Sharsheret, the Jewish breast cancer organization, is holding Cocktails & Mocktails, an online event at 8 p.m. on Oct. 21 featuring a mixology class, community connections and testimonials designed to increase support and awareness.
“We’re thrilled to ‘come’ to Dallas where there is such a committed presence and through this event we will provide an evening of connection and community that we crave now more than ever,” said Sharsheret CEO Elana Silber. “While COVID-19 has stopped many things in our lives, it hasn’t stopped cancer. We want to share the critical message to be proactive with your health and make your doctors’ appointments despite the ongoing pandemic.”
With 1 in 40 Ashkenazic Jews BRCA positive, having the gene that increases the chance of breast and other cancers, Sharsheret’s offers free services including social work and genetic counseling.
Lizzy Rosenberg Greif introduced Sharsheret to the DFW area more than a decade ago. Greif, who lost her sisters Margot and Sheri to breast cancer, is also a member of the Sharsheret national board.
“The way Sharsheret continues to be progressive in providing new information, resources and more is incredible,” Greif said. “This event will have something important for everyone. Lives are saved with almost every opportunity Sharsheret is given and the impact is tremendous.
The Oct. 21 evening, open to men and women, will focus on communitywide cancer and cancer genetics understanding, information and encouragement.
Sharsheret has personal resonance for many of the event’s organizers.
In the spring of 2019, Kim Korenvaes Stein’s doctor recommended she have a mammogram. The wife of Dr. Jaryd Stein and mother of three children from 3 months old to 4, Stein complied while expecting nothing out of the ordinary.
Within days, she was scheduled for a biopsy and received a stage-2 triple positive diagnosis, identified as “pregnancy related,” a term she’d never heard before. Many doctor visits, chemotherapy, hyperbaric chamber dives, multiple surgeries including a double-mastectomy and more, brought her to Sharsheret. She was first in need of its services and is now a part of its team to support others.
“Cancer couldn’t have come as a bigger shock, but we have handled it,” said Stein, who now sits on Sharsheret’s national young leadership board. “There’ve been bumps in the road, and difficult decisions to make, but having Sharsheret as a valuable resource has made it bearable.”
While Stein was going through chemotherapy, her close friend Jody Stein (they are not related) received results she was BRCA positive. The two Dallas residents are committed to Sharsheret’s mission and inclusion statement to improve the lives of Jewish women and families living with or at increased genetic risk for breast or ovarian cancer, embracing the full spectrum of diversity within our communities.
Jody and Kyle Stein, along with Kim and Jaryd Stein, are joined in coordinating the evening by committee members Morgan Aaron, Mandy Ginsberg, Lizzy and Dr. Jules Greif, Sarah and Jonathan Lamensdorf, Laura Miller and Steve Wolens, Elaine and Trevor Pearlman, Lizzy and Dr. Ira Savetsky, Mimi and Ben Slater and Nicole Small.
The virtual mixology class, led by Liquid Lab NYC, will feature the how-to for an Isolation Lemonade and a Strawberry Thyme Gimlet, with a choice of alcohol or not. With registration, supporters will receive a shopping list for ingredients and other items needed.
There is a requested $18 donation for participation, with additional donations appreciated. The first donors of $180 or more will receive swag packages in advance of the program.
“It’s been a very difficult and scary road. Even though I’m still having surgeries, I am now cancer free and in a good place now, living life again,” Kim Stein said. “Sharsheret gave me a voice and has allowed me to be that advocate for others.”
For more information, or to register, visit tinyurl.com/Sharsheret-Dallas-10-21-event.