Becca Weiner Malina is running the 2020 Chicago Marathon and raising money for Sharsheret, The Jewish Breast and Ovarian Cancer Community. We talked with her about running and why Sharsheret is important to her and her family.
How did you start running
I have a huge birthmark on my leg and felt very self-conscious about it as a middle-school student. My parents reminded me that it was just a mark and my legs worked fine. I think that was what got me to start running and I kept going! I ran track in middle school and high school. I started running cross country junior year of High School and stuck with distance since then!
How many marathons have you run?
10! I have run Chicago twice (2009, 2015).
Have you run any other races for charity?
I ran my first marathon (Chicago) for the Respiratory Heath Association in 2009.
What are the best places to run in Chicago?
I live by the river walk and it is a personal favorite. I also love the 606. For now, I have been running all over the place, I like running West to Ashland and running North. Hubbard is great to run on because of the wide bike lanes.
How did you first learn about Sharsheret?
I was introduced to Sharsheret in college; it is the national philanthropy of AEPhi. Last year, when my mom, Sharon Weiner, was diagnosed with breast cancer, she reached out to Sharsheret for support.
What does Sharsheret do for women who have cancer?
Sharsheret provided my mom with well organized information she could use and comfort items to help her with the effects of treatment. She also received a cookbook and a binder to take notes and record treatment information.
Most importantly, Sharsheret gave her a connection to social worker and another Jewish woman who had been through a similar diagnosis. Both of these women were able to support my mom in ways our family could not. Over one year later, my mom is healthy and cancer free.
What is Sharsheret doing now during COVID 19?
While the marathon may not take place this year, Sharsheret still needs our help! Sharsheret has been busier than ever providing social services to cancer patients, holding webinars and virtual programs on dealing with cancer in the time of COVID, sending out a “busy box” with games for kids whose moms are undergoing treatment, and providing virtual programs for children of those who need childcare (reading books over Zoom etc., with the help of AEPhi).
How can people get involved with Sharsheret?
You can also read ChiTribe’s interview with Sharsheret Young Board Member, Adina Minkowitz.
More about Sharsheret:
Sharsheret serves 150,000 women, families, health care professionals, community leaders, and students, in all 50 states. Through 12 national programs, Sharsheret provides culturally relevant support and information to women and families facing breast and ovarian cancer. Sharsheret creates a safe community for women at every stage—before, during, and after diagnosis. We offer tailored resources, information, and support to caregivers, family members, and friends of women facing breast and ovarian cancer to guide them through the cancer journey. All services are free, confidential, and easily accessed online and by phone, email, text, and livechat. They are individualized and provided one-to-one by skilled and trained professionals and builds a strong community of “links in the chain” through education and outreach events for college students, healthcare professionals, and community organizations. Help us make a difference to ensure that no woman or family will face cancer alone.
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