April 23, 2024
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Sharsheret Honoree: Blair Muss

Blair Muss is one of the honorees at this year’s Sharsheret dinner. As a former cancer patient, she is a classic example of a woman who appreciates the services and counseling that the organization offers and has become a devoted supporter.  Blair was diagnosed with stage 1 Breast Cancer in 2004 when she was just 38.  Blair had gotten to a “difficult stage where I felt scared, confused, and alone.” She adds that “I had to make decision after decision and I was never a decisive person.” It was at this point that Blair called Sharsheret after hearing about the organization from a coworker. She says of Sharsheret, “they got it immediately and everything clicked.”

One of the organization’s primary tasks is to connect or link women who are newly diagnosed or at risk of developing breast cancer or ovarian cancer with others who share similar diagnoses and experience. Blair was set up with a connection or link at each stage of her treatment. They are so good at finding people who are in similar places that Blair says “they should be matchmakers.”

Director of Operations Elana Silber notes that, “each woman receives support that is customized to her specific needs and concerns.”

After being cured of the breast cancer, Blair felt grateful and felt she would not have made it without Sharsheret. So, she became a link. Blair has great success reaching others who recognize her positive attitude and appreciate her sense of humor. Silber says of Blair, “She has made a difference in many women’s lives, and helped Sharsheret reach more women. With her compassion, energy, and strength, Blair empowers others, helping to further Sharsheret’s mission to support all Jewish women facing breast cancer.”

It is because of these contributions that Blair, along with Batya Paul of Bergen County, will be honored at Sharsheret’s 12th Anniversary Benefit on May 4th at the Glennpointe in Teaneck. Blair feels “blessed and touched” to be honored by an organization she so strongly believes in and is proud to represent.

Blair’s mother’s yahrzeit is a few days before the benefit. Her mother passed away from breast cancer at the age of 39 when Blair was just 5. The diagnosis helped Blair connect with her mother as Blair came to “understand what she must have been going through fears and sadness— know what she felt.” Blair is dedicating the honor to her mother.

Sharsheret has responded to more than 40,000 breast cancer inquiries. They have more than 3,000 peer supporters. Sharsheret’s services go way beyond the peer support network. Two of those other programs are their genetics program that addresses hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer and their ovarian cancer program that has tailored resources and support for young Jewish women and families facing ovarian cancer.

By Larry Bernstein

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