I am working with the American Friends of Rabin Medical Center. This organization is committed to helping Israel's Rabin Medical Center by raising money to sustain and expand its facilities with the most advanced technology and medical equipment.
AFRMC organizes many incredible fundraisers, however, I am working with one in particular called the NYC Schlep. The NYC Schlep is a 5K run/walk for breast and ovarian cancer on June 9th. The money raised will be donated to the Davidoff Comprehensive Cancer Center, a section of the Rabin Medical Center which focuses on the treatment and prevention of cancer, aid in their research to fight breast and ovarian cancers and a Digital Tomosynthesis Mammography System which is considered today to be the best method for early breast cancer detection to be installed in the Rabin Medical Center.
I am interning along with Alex, Mickey, Nikki and Beth. We are all given different tasks to help advertise for the run/walk and educate people on the two deadly diseases. On the first day, we had brainstormed ideas for new approaches to advertising. This is only the third annual NYC Schlep so they did not have an Instagram yet. On that very first day, we had created an Instagram account for them and were able to take full control over it. We post pictures everyday and connect to other people who also post about cancer.
We love to go canvassing! In shifts, we choose a section of Manhattan and journey out with our canvas bags full of posters, rubber bracelets, and pamphlets. We are given a list of the stores that the NYC Schlep has had success with to guide us, however, we are encouraged to go into any store so that maybe a new store can be added to the list for next year. Everything having to do with each Schlep is compiled into a binder corresponding to the specific year of the Schlep. For instance, every single email sent back and forth with AFRMC and a potential sponsor, rabbi, doctor's office etc. is filed into the binder to learn from for the next Schlep.
At first, the canvassing made us nervous. We thought that storekeepers would just send us away and not want to hear our little shpiel on what the NYC Schlep is. To our surprise, many stores did accept our pamphlets. The manager of one of the Sunglass Hut stores said he would give a pamphlet to each customer who purchased something!
As I mentioned earlier, the five of us interns each have a different task. Mine was the outreach to breast cancer and ovarian cancer support groups and organizations. There were so many organizations that I had no idea existed. I had to fill out an Excel document with the name of the organization, their address, phone number, email and the name of the person to contact to talk to about spreading the word of our run to their staff and members. Most of the websites included remarkable stories of people struggling with breast or ovarian cancers and I found myself becoming so engrossed in these stories. Many of these women were well into their lives with families of their own when they were diagnosed. Suddenly these diseases didn't seem so distant. The scary thought entered my mind that that could be me or someone I know one day.These women (and some men) had no idea it was coming! I then had to write out an outreach letter to these organizations asking of their help. Little did I know that this letter would be tweaked many times and would be sent back and forth between me and my employer many times. I also had to do extra research on ovarian cancer and breast cancer to find statistics that would draw in the organization to the urgency of this cause. The information I found on these diseases was fascinating! For example, I found out that every 24 minutes, a women is diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States and every 3 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States!
We then sent information and materials out to these support groups and organizations by mail which included pamphlets, flyers, and bracelets in order for them to inform their community about our event. I am still in the process of calling all these groups to make sure they received the information and know what to do. What I like about the AFRMC is that they care a lot about who they're contacting. They always make sure to thank everyone even if the person or organization could not help out and they try to establish connections with communities like synagogues and organizations by supporting them as well.
I am excited for tomorrow and to work on a different project on Tuesday where we are helping out at a fundraiser for prostrate cancer at a golf club in Connecticut!
A generous donation by the Eli and Dalia Horowitz Family Fund to Rabin Medical Center will support a three component program in Infectious Diseases. This system is vital response to a report of Israel‘s state comptroller warning that 4,000-6,000 people die in Israel each year from severe infections.