Student perspectives


image0 - 2022-10-28T101555.253.jpegCarly:

Thank you all so much for being here tonight with us for Pink Shabbat in honor of breast cancer awareness month and Sharsheret. For anyone that may not know, Sharsheret is one of AEPhi’s national philanthropies that supports women battling breast or ovarian cancer.

Sharsheret is the Hebrew word for chain, and one of the nation’s leading Jewish cancer organizations. Not only does Sharsheret fundraise for research and support women going through treatment, but one of their main initiatives surrounds awareness. One of their mottos is “know the facts, learn the risks, take action.” They believe that we can truly make a difference and take charge in the fight against breast cancer by learning about your family’s health history. I encourage you all to take a look at the pamphlets dispersed throughout the tables to learn more about the amazing work that Sharsheret does and how you can become more involved.


Hi everyone! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Joie and I am a junior here in AEPhi. I am so glad I have the opportunity of speaking to you all about this incredible organization and what it means to me.

A week before the start of my freshman year at UT, my parents sat me down and told me that my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I unfortunately can say that it was not the first time one of my family members had been diagnosed with cancer. My sister and my grandmother are both cancer survivors. Fast forward one week, I came to Austin for my freshman year, feeling fearful and anxious about my mom’s diagnosis. Since this time, three of my closest friends have been told that their mothers too, have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It wasn’t until then that I truly understood how real the threat of breast cancer is for Jewish women. As terrifying as this journey was for me and my family, I can only imagine how difficult it would be for someone to go through this experience without the support we had surrounding us. I truly have no idea how I would have gotten through this without the support of the Jewish community here at UT.

This community provided me with a much needed support system and helped me find lightness in such a dark time. This is what fueled my motivation to get involved and give back to people who shared similar experiences to me. I became involved with Sharsheret as a member of their Young Adult Caring Corner which is a program that provides 18-24 year olds who have a family member battling breast or ovarian cancer someone to talk to who has been in their shoes. I am beyond grateful that my mom is now cancer free, and am dedicated to continue providing comfort in any way that I can to anyone who is experiencing the anxiety, fear, and pain that comes from a cancer diagnosis.

I’m not just here to pour my heart out to you and tell you all about my connection to breast cancer. I hope none of you can relate to my experiences, but the scary truth is that I know that’s unlikely. I want my message to also serve as a reminder that I, along with the rest of AEPhi, am always here for anyone that may be struggling. I hope this inspires you all to get involved with Sharsheret and the rest of Phi’s philanthropies as you may be surprised of just how fulfilling it can be.


It’s nights like tonight that reminds us all of the importance of sisterhood. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by a community of such strong Jewish women here at UT. A huge thank you to Rabbi Zev, Ariela, and the rest of your family for hosting us and continuing the tradition of AEPhi’s Pink Shabbat. I am so glad we’re able to come together for Sharsheret and breast cancer awareness month.

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