Three Hadassah members brought Today Show host Kathie Lee Gifford to tears on air early Wednesday morning as they shared their moving story about their battle with breast cancer, the BRCA1 gene mutation and making the decision to get genetic testing.
Outside the NBC studios at Rockefeller Plaza, Hadassah members came out bright and early to raise awareness about breast cancer, BRCA genes, and the Hadassah Medical Organization's groundbreaking medical research. As the sun came up on an unseasonably warm fall morning, they held up Hadassah signs to offer support for Maxx Schube and her daughters, Rochelle and Alana, a fifth-generation Hadassah family, behind the Today Show hosts Matt Lauer and Hoda Kotb. Though the mutation is rare among the general population, it is 10 times higher among Ashkenazi Jews — a Hadassah Medical Organization discovery.
Maxx Schube and her daughters, Rochelle and Alana, have all tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations greatly increase the lifetime risk of both breast and ovarian cancer, but those with BRCA1 have a greater chance of developing breast cancer by age 70.
Maxx's older sister, Beverly z"l, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 33. There was no other cancer in the family at the time, and no one thought to test Beverly for a BRCA gene mutation.
The Schube women hope that by sharing their story, they will inspire funding for breast cancer and genetic research programs at Hadassah Medical Organization, and for breast cancer education, advocacy and prevention in the United States — in hopes of saving lives.
Visit the Hadassah/BreastCancerAwareness page for more info.
Read about Hadassah's cutting-edge research in this October 18 article about breast-cancer detection.
Read how Hadassah Greater Miami partnered with artist Romero Britto and Bloomingdale's for this year's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.