Dr. Rinat Yerushalmi and Batya Rotter
A ceremony with Dr. Eyran Halpern, CEO of Rabin Medical Center, was recently held in celebration of the money raised by Batya Rotter and friends, during the recent American Friends of Rabin Medical Center's NYC Schlep: Jewish Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk held at Battery Park in Manhattan.
A 5K Run/Walk to benefit Rabin Medical Center's Davidoff Cancer Center, this special AFRMC NYC Schlep was the first to raise money specifically for Jewish breast cancer treatment and research. Yet, for 28 year-old Batya Rotter, whose team alone raised over $25,000, this was more than just an ordinary event. Just weeks before the NYC Schlep Batya's 27 year-old cousin and best friend, Natalie, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Understandingly devastated by the news, Batya decided to turn her sadness into something positive and created Team Natalie, which brought together more than 20 participants to take part in the NYC Schlep.
In honor of the donation made by Team Natalie, The Natalie Katzin Gerber Fellowship in Breast Cancer was awarded to Dr. Rinat Yerushalmi, a young oncologist in the Breast Cancer Unit at Rabin Medical Center's Davidoff Cancer Center. Dr. Yerushalmi is the principal investigator on a study relating to the BRCA1,2 gene and telomeres, trying to find a connection between healthy women and the 20% of women who are gene carriers but do not develop breast cancer.
Batya Rotter, who is spending a year doing her doctorate in Jerusalem, attended this ceremony where she had the opportunity to meet Dr. Yerushalmi and Dr. Halpern as well as see the hospital, specifically the Davidoff Center. After the ceremony she remarked, "It was wonderful seeing the state of the art facilities and meeting with the clinicians and researchers at Rabin Medical Center. Dr. Yerushalmi was so incredibly warm and knowledgeable; she not only took time to inquire about my cousin and family, but also explained in detail the goals of the research project she will conduct. I left impressed with the wonderful group of bright, talented, and caring individuals who comprise the Rabin Medical Center team. My family cannot thank you enough for the important work you are doing!"
As hundreds of white and blue balloons were released into the sky, the first cancer patients walked through the doors of the Davidoff Center on that beautiful Sunday of May 8, 2005.