Zelda Bader Memorial Fund

SHARE donor Nancy Bader and her son Jacob created the Zelda Bader Memorial Fund in honor of her mother, contributing money from Jacob's Bar Mitzvah gifts. Nancy explains why they started this fund.

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In 1970, when my mother was first diagnosed with breast cancer, not only were there no support groups or helplines, but no one spoke about breast cancer. When my mother came home from the hospital, I was 12 years old, and I did not understand what was going on because no one said anything. If I could only have Googled, "Breast Cancer!"

Life took on a new normal for the next twenty-two years as my mother's beautiful network of friends and family took care of her by transporting her to treatments and making sure our home ran as normally as possible. Little was discussed until her next recurrence. But no matter how incredible her medical team was and how methodical my beloved father was in making sure they made the best possible decisions about her treatment, no one took care of her emotionally, not even her family, where life was an ongoing roller-coaster.

Her large network of friends took care of her by treating her as normally as possible. She was incredibly lucky. They didn't treat her as a person with cancer but as a friend with whom they could discuss their daily issues, seeking advice and humor.

My husband, Michael Leventhal, and I walked with friends during the SHARE Walks several years ago, to honor and remember my mother and the other family and friends who have been affected by these diseases. The legacy my mother left was the value of friendship, so during each walk, I was surrounded by friends who were there to take care of me. We took our children while they were still in strollers on the walks. We have been proud supporters of SHARE and have been on the Dinner Committee of SHARE's Second Helping of Life fundraiser since it was created.

Unfortunately, as years go by, more and more friends and family have been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer. It has been bittersweet to hear people tell me of the services they've utilized at SHARE.

Hopefully, through this fund, more people will have the resources to gain strength and knowledge as they battle their own issues with these diseases.

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At SHARE's walk, in the early 2000s. Jacob is the little guy on the right; his brother, Zachary, is on the left. I'm pushing the stroller and Michael Leventhal, my husband, is taking the picture.

SHARE is a member of Community Health Charities and a 2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit by Great Nonprofits.

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