Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) helped George Washington University Hillel kick off its recent Breast Cancer Awareness Week. Schultz and Klobuchar participated in an educational panel, "Lifestyle Genetics and Age, What Every Young Woman Should Know About Breast Cancer," that also featured Dr. Paul Levine of The George Washington University School of Public Health.
Rep. Schultz shared her personal journey as a breast cancer survivor and discovery of her genetic predisposition as a carrier of the BRCA 2 genetic mutation which is common among Ashkenazi Jews. She discussed the EARLY Act legislation that she submitted to Congress that seeks $9 million annually to provide breast cancer education for both young women and health care providers to promote awareness of the risk factors and the use of predictive tools to help prevent breast cancer in young women.
Hillel also sponsored Pink Ribbon challah baking, selling over 40 challahs with the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. Judy Macon of Suburban Hospital gave a demonstration on performing breast self-exams.
Friday evening began "Pink Shabbat" with proceeds going to Sharsheret, a non-profit organization dedicated to the unique challenges of young Jewish breast cancer survivors. More than $500 dollars were raised for Sharsheret.
On Saturday, over 80 students marched in the American Cancer Society Making Strides 5K raising over $6,000. Team GW Hillel ranked sixth in the DC-area team fundraising efforts.
According to executive Director Dr. Robert Fishman:
"Watching the Jewish community at The George Washington University come together for such a worthy cause shows how Jewish values remain a significant part of Jewish student life. A lot of commitment, planning and enthusiasm went into this week along with the efforts of dozens of students. I am hoping that this becomes an annual event, and that GW Hillel remains a focal point for community organizing and tzedakah."