"Our family friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer about a year ago. It was the first time someone close to me was going through surgeries and chemotherapy. I wanted to do something to help. As she continues to battle her cancer, she also works to help educate others about ovarian cancer and the link between breast and ovarian cancer in Ashkenazi Jews. Last Spring, I helped as a volunteer for the Atlanta Ovarian Cycle, decorating the gym and passing out drinks and orange slices to the participants cycling for ovarian cancer research and awareness. But I wanted to do more.
"My grandmother (my dad's mom) had breast cancer before I was born and has survived it. My grandmother tested positive for the BRCA gene mutation. My Mom's aunt had breast cancer and my Mom's first cousin is currently battling breast cancer. With all of this information, I know that because of my heritage, I am at a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer. I am choosing FORCE as my Bat Mitzvah project because I cherish my family and friends and I want to help spread awareness regarding the link between being Jewish and cancer, so that we can help prevent more Jewish women from being diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer.
"For my Mitzvah project I am spreading awareness by working at the FORCE table at an Ovarian/Breast cancer informational fair at my synagogue. I am also donating a percentage of the money I receive in gifts from my Bat Mitzvah to FORCE. And, I will speak about FORCE in my Bat Mitzvah speech to help educate all of my family, friends and community regarding the importance of heredity cancer research."