I am one of the lucky ones to have two survivors in my life.
Unbeknownst to me, my grandmother ("Goo Goo") was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2001 (I was only 8 years old at the time). The cancer was found through a mammogram and was only on her right side. After four attempts of lumpectomy, the doctor could not come up with clean margins, so Goo Goo had to have a mastectomy. By a stroke of luck, the doctor performed some work on her other side, just to make her look symmetrical, and cancer was also found on her left side. Goo Goo had another mastectomy, reconstructive surgeries, and went through months of chemo. She lost her hair, but never lost her spirit. I am happy to say that she is now cancer free!
Only 6 years later, in January of 2007, my mom (Goo Goo's daughter) felt a lump in her breast. She was 43 at the time and had recently had a mammogram that came back fine. After another mammogram, an ultrasound, an MRI, and then a biopsy, it was finally confirmed that she had cancer - at 43 years old! Obviously being diagnosed at 43 years old is very young, so my mom also got tested for the BRCA, to see whether or not she was a carrier for the Breast Cancer Gene. She is not!!! (YAY!!) Also a lucky break, new tumor marker testing and research indicated that chemo was not necessary, so "all" my mom had to do was go through six weeks of radiation and then take tamoxifen. A small price to pay to be cancer free... Except that only two years later, in 2009, an MRI detected cancer again in the same breast. With not much hesitation, my mom and her doctors agreed that a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction was the right way to go. For the most part, it took about 18 months to complete all the surgeries and get back to normal. She is now over 8 years cancer free!
With that same spirit that guided my family, and so many other families in the face of life’s challenges, I will run in the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon as an official and proud member of Team Sharsheret! Sharsheret is a national not-for-profit organization supporting young women and families of Jewish backgrounds, facing breast and ovarian cancer at every stage—before, during, and after diagnosis. Just so happens that the founder of Sharsheret was a young lawyer wanting to make a difference in the lives of others.
As a member of this incredible Team, I have pledged to raise funds (a goal I hope to greatly exceed!) in support of Sharsheret’s breast cancer and ovarian cancer programs and services. So in between 1L and 2L classes, studying and working, I will be training for this extraordinary event. I pledge my commitment to those who need our help, and I am hoping that you can pledge your support by making a donation. All contributions are tax-deductible.
Thank you in advance for your support!