Perhaps it is because my Hebrew isn’t fluent, but I have found through personal observation and anecdotal evidence that there is no breast cancer in Israel. I’m here for a conference and decided I would precede the work with some sorely needed R and R. I’m staying with friends in the country between Tel Aviv and Haifa. My friend Seven and I were roommates in the absorption center 14 years ago and recently we found out we are related though marriage. She and I have a very intense, almost spiritual connection, so it was very fitting to find out that after calling each other ‘fake sister’, we are, indeed, cousins. She and I have been aiding my recuperation by doing lots of retail therapy and helping the Israeli economy. So far, in shops in Karkur, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem, I have seen NO breast cancer-pink kitchen mixers. No pink ribbons at the check out. No food approved and proven to reduce breast cancer. It doesn’t exist here!
Now, with all the Ashkenazi-decent women in Israel, breast cancer has to exist. So where is it? Why is this disease treated so differently in Israel that in the US? Perhaps it could be there is so much more to worry about in Israel. Israelis have top-notch medical care, so they can heal the sick and protect the country simultaneously. Diseases here are not trumpeted proudly like in the US. Instead, people deal with their illnesses with there family and those close to them.
Now, this can have many repercussions. People can feel isolated when faced with a difficult illness like breast cancer. However, the people here are of a different breed. You see all kinds of people on the streets of Tel Aviv. People are not slowed down by illnesses or injuries–instead, they carry on their daily lives and get done what they need to survive. Life is too precious to waste on being sick. People face what they need to face in order to survive.
I think the US can take a lot from this approach. I’m not saying can the pink kitchen mixers all together. I’m just saying–WARRIORS! BE A LITTLE ISRAELI IN YOUR FIGHT AGAINST THE GUYS IN THE WHITE VAN! The life you save WILL be your own.