Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Israel Mission Delegation Trip
Day One Recap with Dr. Ruth Oratz
Jerusalem – Oct. 25, 2010 – After months of planning and anticipation, it's hard to believe that we are finally here! The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Israel Mission Delegates have all arrived in Jerusalem and we kicked off the week with a fantastic evening of welcome activities. An elegant champagne reception in the new flagship Padani Jewelry store was even more poignant when we learned about how breast cancer has touched the Padani family - and how much more meaningful this made their commitment to help find a cure for breast cancer. Ambassador Brinker and Mrs. Hadassah Lieberman greeted us with their warm and inspiring comments. And of course special thanks to Ambassadors Stephanie and Ned Siegel who have been working tirelessly with Komen and all of our partners, to make this Mission real.
The highlight of the evening was truly all about light, pink light, lighting up the city! Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat was joined by Mrs. Netanyahu, the wife of the Israeli Prime Minister, Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker and Nancy Falchuk, National President of Hadassah on a balcony overlooking the Walls of the Old City. With a single flick of a switch, the ancient walls lit up bright shades of pink, turning this city of gold into a city of rose color, carrying our message to everyone in every quarter of Jerusalem and around the world, lighting the way another step forward in Komen’s Global Commitment.
Our dinner reception was held at the magnificently renovated Israel Museum. As we arrived at the Museum we were shocked to find the gracefully curved roof of The Shrine of the Book which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, not its usual simple white, but a shocking bright pink, specially lit for this occasion! Delegates, Israeli and American survivors, their loved ones and friends, scientists, doctors and nurses from both nations joined to share in an evening of personal and cultural exchange. Three sisters who travelled here together from the US shared with me their family story of breast cancer and their promises to one another, not unlike Ambassador Brinker’s promise to her own sister.
And perhaps, most importantly we have already taken significant strides forward on the scientific front. For the last two days a small group of American, Israeli and European scientists and clinicians met at the Weizmann Institute, to discuss issues that are at the forefront of understanding basic mechanisms underlying some of the causes of breast cancer. We also outlined some of the steps that we hope will make an important difference in treating and preventing breast cancer. Fruitful research and educational collaborations will result from this meeting.
Our first evening together has certainly set the tone for what is to be a truly unique experience. The crisp cool evening air was full of magic, but the personal connections were real. With the Walls of Ancient Jerusalem lit pink, our path ahead is clear.
Dr. Ruth Oratz, a medical oncologist, is a member of the Susan G. Komen Greater New York City Affiliate® board of directors and a delegate joining others from global and Israeli organizations to advance the breast cancer movement in a Susan G. Komen for the Cure® mission trip to Israel Oct. 25-28.