Hirsch and Parker Honored at Sharsheret Luncheon
Last Sunday at the Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe in Teaneck, New Jersey, Sharsheret held its Honoring the Women Who Have Touched Our Lives: Annual Benefit Luncheon. They recognized Naava Parker of Englewood, and Rochelle Hirsch of Manhattan as Guests of Honor.
Mrs. Hirsch and Mrs. Parker are both breast cancer survivors. They met because of their diagnoses and they supported each other through treatment and beyond. The disease of breast cancer often evokes this sisterhood kind of solidarity. This kind of support is a very strong and comforting medicine even for those who are initially disinclined to accept it.
Hirsch and Parker found that out themselves. They decided to do something positive with this shared experience. The upshot: Lumps and Bumps, a breast cancer story for children. Their hope is that this book will be helpful to many women and families facing the challenges of living with breast cancer.
Explaining a Mom’s Breast Cancer to Kids
Monday, May 18, 2009
BY HARVY LIPMAN
TEANECK — How does a mother diagnosed with breast cancer explain the disease to a young child?
That’s the topic of a new children’s book published by two breast cancer survivors who were honored Sunday at the Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe during the annual gala of Sharsheret, a Teaneck charity that helps Jewish women diagnosed with the disease.
Rochelle Hirsch of New York wrote the book, “Lumps and Bumps,” and Naava Parker of Englewood illustrated it.
“When I was undergoing treatment, I realized that so many of the women diagnosed with this disease are young mothers, and there was nothing out there for them, to help tell them what to say to their children and explain what was happening to them,” Hirsch said. “When Naava said, ‘I’d love to do a book,’ that just planted the seed in my mind.”
The idea melded two of Hirsch’s primary interests: caring for children — she started a preschool in New York 18 years ago — and writing. “I always wrote,” she said. “I used to have a business called Roasts and Toasts. I would ghost-write poems for people’s parties. So it was a natural progression.”
“The trick was how to tell the story in a way that would not frighten children, but which would tell them the truth,” Hirsch added. “Children see through lies very quickly.”
The book tells the story of one child’s experience dealing with the disease.
“It’s done in a very sweet, non-threatening way,” she said.
Sharsheret chose to honor the authors and help launch the book to the public. The group also honored Suffy Rudman, a singer whose CD “Believe” is made up of “songs that inspire women who have gone through breast cancer,” said Elana Silber, the group’s director of operations.
Sharsheret functions largely as a support system for Jewish women with breast cancer. “We connect pairs of women who have common experiences,” Silber said. “They want to speak with someone like them.”
More than 800 women have taken part in the program, she added.
Rochelle Hirsch and Naava Parker the creators of LUMPS AND BUMPS, a breast cancer story for children will be the Guests of Honor at this years Sharsheret Annual Benefit Luncheon. Sharsheret is a national not-for-profit organization supporting young Jewish women facing breast cancer. The luncheon will be held on Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 10:30am at the Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe located in Teaneck, New Jersey.
Hirsch and Parker Interviewed by NY Shock Jock, Aaron Braunstein
Aaron Braunstein took a break from his usual line-up to interview Hirsch and Parker about their new book, Lumps and Bumps.
Braunstein lost his mother and sister to cancer, and so this subject matter is of special interest to him.
According to Time Out New York, Aaron Braunstein is a New York Radio Institution, who has completed over 3000 Consecutive Radio Shows.
Aaron Braunstein’s shows consist of Sports, Politics, Films, Music, Theater, Car Racing, Religion’s, & Kabbalah on WTBQ 1110 on the AM Dial & 99.1 on The FM Dial.
ENDORSEMENTS FOR LUMPS AND BUMPS FROM LEADING BREAST CANCER DOCTORS
One of the first questions our breast cancer patients ask us is “what do I tell the children?”. LUMPS AND BUMPS was written by two mothers to help other mothers.
It is a sensitive and gentle book for families to read together and it will reassure young children at a difficult time.
Anne Moore, MD
Medical Director, Breast Oncology
Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center
Helping breast cancer patients understand, treat, and conquer their disease includes the difficult challenge of helping them cope with the many family issues that they must face. There are few challenges more difficult than sharing a cancer diagnosis with young children.
Rochelle Hirsch and Naava Parker’s book “Lumps and Bumps” provides a child friendly, nonthreatening vehicle for a mother to begin the process of sharing a breast cancer diagnosis with her child. It presents many of the problems that lie ahead in a way that is realistic, age appropriate, and optimistic. I have shared it with patients of young children who have found it to be extremely valuable as a way to begin a difficult dialogue.
Lauren S. Cassell, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Chief of Breast Surgery
Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY
What do we tell children when their mother is diagnosed with breast cancer?
Although it may be difficult to do, “Lumps and Bumps” gives us the answer – tell the truth. With its crisp language and bright pictures, Hirsch and Parker have given parents a wonderful tool to use when faced with this difficult task. It teaches children that “life is full of lumps and bumps” but there will hopefully be a time to celebrate. It is a lesson we all must learn.
This beautifully illustrated book of verse teaches this lesson well and should be read to all children whose mothers have breast cancer.
Michael B. Harris, MD
Director, Tomorrows Children’s Institute for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital
Hackensack University Medical Center