Jewish women from synagogues across the city realize the need for a unified philanthropic commitment to fight breast cancer, the leading type of cancer in women. Team Soul to Sole has joined the list of teams participating in the 25th Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Run/Walk at AutoZone Park (200 Union Avenue) on Saturday, October 28.
Rather than creating individual teams, every synagogue and Jewish women’s group pledges to join one team with the sole mission of connecting the Memphis Jewish community in the fight against breast cancer. The effort is unprecedented, especially for the Susan G. Memphis affiliate. Observant Jews who want to participate can spend the night in a hotel downtown and walk to the race.
In 1977, Susan Goodman Komen was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. Her sister Nancy Goodman Brinker began the Susan G. Komen for the Cure with $200 and a shoebox of friends’ names after Susan died in 1980. Susan G. Komen now stands as the largest non-government funder of breast cancer research in the world.
With a similar approach, a group of passionate Germantown women gathered around a kitchen table in 1992 and started the Memphis-MidSouth Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Since its inception, Memphis Komen, through thousands of volunteers and donors, has contributed over $3 million to national breast cancer research and over $10.5 million to local organizations.
“There are countless noteworthy philanthropies in Memphis, but Susan G. Komen Memphis-MidSouth is the only non-government, non-insurance funder of screenings, mammograms and diagnostics in our community,” said Lorraine Wolf, a founding member of Team Soul to Sole and board member and immediate past president of Memphis-MidSouth Affiliate of Susan G. Komen.
“No other non-profit organization in our community is granting dollars to our local hospitals and clinics for those medical needs. And while Susan G. Komen Memphis-MidSouth gives 25% of its funds to national breast cancer research, 75% stays here in the Mid-South to serve underinsured and uninsured women.”
Along with Lorraine, other Team Soul to Sole founding members are Lisa Harris, Laurie Scheidt and Dr. Lindi Vanderwalde. Judith Stone, Marilyn Glazer, Tami Eiseman and Jan Reisman are Team Soul to Sole committee members.
The committee’s groundbreaking coordination has sparked a community-wide initiative to participate in the Race for the Cure on October 28. Actual attendance at the Race/Walk is not mandatory with the Virtual Registration option, allowing everyone to participate in the cause, even if you cannot attend. To register, visit www.komenmemphis.org and join Team Soul to Sole.
With all synagogues on board, flyers and promotional materials will soon enter houses of worship with additional race information. Gentlemen also are encouraged to participate.
Team Soul to Sole was awarded the Top Fundraiser for Faith-Based Organizations for last year’s Race for the Cure and has raised over $30,000.
“Team Soul to Sole was formed three years ago to unite the Memphis Jewish Community in the fight against Breast Cancer,” said committee chair and Race Team captain Lisa Harris. “We have been amazed at the generosity of our community and the support of our annual educational program. In fact, the Sisterhoods in Memphis really enjoy coming together annually to learn and rally around this cause. We only hope that this continues to grow.”
“Every Jewish woman knows a Jewish woman, and probably someone in her own family, who has or has had breast cancer.”
A vast majority of Jews in the United States have central and eastern European, or Ashkenazi, ancestors. Ashkenazi Jews are much more likely to carry a rare, inherited mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene as compared to people in the general population. These mutations increase the risk of getting certain types of cancer, including breast and ovarian in women and breast and prostate in men. BRCA stands for BReast CAncer susceptibility gene. Women with a BRCA gene mutation are seven times more likely to get breast cancer and 30 times more likely to get ovarian cancer than other women before age 70, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Team Soul to Sole and the Women of Reform Judaism-Temple Israel Sisterhood will host a community-wide Sisterhood event on Tues., Sept. 5, at Temple Israel, 1376 East Massey Road, from 7 to 9 p.m., in partnership with the Sisterhoods of Anshei Sphard Beth El Emeth, Baron Hirsch, Beth Sholom, Chabad Lubavitch, Or Chadash and Young Israel Synagogues. The Women’s Health Issues and Breast Cancer educational program will feature Breast Cancer Screening and Treatment Update presented by Lindi Vanderwalde, MD, Breast Surgery; Cosmetic Surgery: Breast Reconstruction and Other Common Procedures presented by Ellis Tavin, MD, Plastic Surgery (please note: graphic photos will be shown for illustrative purposes), and Wellness Screening Through the Years presented by Cindy Katz, DNP, Internal Medicine. Kosher dairy refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.
For additional information, please contact Lisa Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org or 901.685.8976.