A Cousin’s Fund-Raising Effort for a Schlep

On Sunday, July 17, 2011, over 200 breast cancer activists gathered on a warm and sunny morning in Battery Park, downtown Manhattan to participate in the inaugural AFRMC Jewish breast cancer run/walk. Funds raised benefitted the Davidoff Cancer Center at the Rabin Medical center in Petah Tikvah, Israel. In addition to the numerous corporate sponsors, including El Al Airlines, Sharsheret and Genentech, New York State Assemblyman David Weprin addressed the runners and walkers, “All of us are partners with AFRMC to raise awareness of breast cancer among Jewish women in the United States and Israel.” Breast cancer impacts approximately one in seven Jewish women, and over 1.5 million are diagnosed yearly around the world.

Members of Team Natalie at the 2011 NYC Schlep 5K Run/Walk
Members of Team Natalie at the 2011 NYC Schlep 5K Run/Walk

One woman affected by this alarming statistic was Batya Rotter. She schlepped for a good cause- to honor her cousin who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. As Melanie West first reported in the Wall Street Journal on July 16, 2011,

Ms. Rotter is a 28-year-old doctoral student in clinical psychology at Fordham University. The Schlep is her first sports-related fund-raising event. She learned about the race from another cousin a few weeks ago, quickly pulled together some friends and launched Team Natalie, named in honor of her cousin, Natalie Katzin Gerber. The event is a way to “turn sadness into an opportunity to help,” says Ms. Rotter.

Ms. Rotter and Natalie had always had a special bond, as both cousins and close friends. They grew up together and eventually both attended Columbia University in New York City. She was even a bridesmaid at Natalie’s wedding. So when Natalie received her diagnosis, she knew that she had to take action.

Ms. Rotter, Team Natalie, and over 170 generous donors ultimately raised over $25,000 in honor of Natalie Katzin Gerber. On the day of the Schlep, about 20 supporters showed up with homemade signs and positive attitudes. Some walked, others ran, but all supported the recovery of Natalie, as well as the millions of others around the world.

Team Natalie receiving a fundraising award at the 2011 NYC Schlep 5K Run/Walk
Team Natalie receiving a fundraising award at the 2011 NYC Schlep 5K Run/Walk

For the full text of the article, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304203304576448040208808726

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