Last June, PHASE ONE gave Sharsheret a grant of $50,000 for their pilot program distributing free kits to women recently diagnosed with ovarian and breast cancer. Sharsheret is a national not-for-profit organization that improves the lives of Jewish women and families living with or at increased genetic risk for breast or ovarian cancer through personalized support and saves lives through educational outreach. They also specifically aim to highlight and educate the medical community on the unique experiences of Jewish women with these cancers, as there is a large genetic and cultural component.
As a result of our funding, over the last year Sharsheret has expanded its network and formed partnerships with more local medical practices and cancer centers. Sharsheret provides multiple types of kits, including Financial Wellness Toolkits, Best Face Forward Kits, and Busy Boxes - each tailored to a different part of the healing and self care process for women with cancer. They streamlined the kit distribution process by having one standard mailing piece across all centers, which included sample kits and information packets for patients.
The outlook from this pilot year is optimistic. Sharsheret exceeded their goal, distributing 372 kits! The feedback from the women who received support has been extremely positive.
“I want to thank you so much for sending all the information and goodies. My scalp was so dry after the chemo, and I looked in the box of cosmetics you sent, and there was scalp oil in there. It was really helpful! When I got the diagnosis, it was shocking, terrifying, and overwhelming. The support from family, friends, and organizations helped me get through all of it, and I can’t thank you enough!” – Breast Cancer Patient, Stage 3
The Best Face Forward Kit was one of the most requested. This supports the idea that cosmetic and wellness resources are a crucial part of the cancer journey and process. Informed by the success of initiatives including the PHASE ONE-funded program, Sharsheret is launching a new program, Best Face Forward 2.0. Its aim is to subsidize non-medical services that are important for a woman’s body image and quality of life.
Additionally, thanks to our seed funding, Sharsheret has gained recognition and been invited to join the Susan G. Komen of Los Angeles Diversity Committee, as well as the California Dialogue on Cancer’s Cancer Plan Treatment and Survivorship Subcommittee. This has led to a two-year partnership with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to expand community health education and develop a Community Cancer Education Toolkit. With the backing of PHASE ONE, Sharsheret has been able to further establish itself in the Los Angeles region and can reach more individuals than ever before. PHASE ONE looks forward to future partnerships with Sharsheret.