FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story–Chapter Eight

| August 7, 2017

Valerie and her radiation-damaged leg needed a new home. Her limp was worsening and our North Plainfield bi-level had two sets of stairs. Each time Val went downstairs to play in the rec room, I had to trust to the gods that she wouldn’t trip. We needed a house with fewer or no steps. In […]

NAVIGATING CANCER: A Lay Person’s View

| October 1, 2016

  Cancer! What a word. The sound of it alone shivers the soul. Although every major illness creates the same reaction, I am most familiar with cancer. I know its nightmare best. I am a medical sociologist who has lost two children to cancer: Valerie at 9 and Stacy at 37. I have endured the illnesses […]

MY FAITH MY WAY

| September 1, 2016

My husband Ed and I along with most of our extended family and friends will celebrate the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, with dinner at our home. On the eve of the holiday, we will light yahrzeit candles in memory of our loved ones who have died. I will also recite one of the […]

THE VALERIE FUND IS 40!

| July 1, 2016

THE VALERIE FUND is            40 years old! And so, in honor of our wonderful nonprofit foundation established in memory of our younger daughter Valerie, Ed and I gave a speech at THE VALERIE FUND’s eleventh WALK/RUN. It was held at Verona Park in Verona, New Jersey this past June 11th. We had loads of sunshine, we spoke in […]

BEFORE THE BEGINNING: Carlene and Bethie

| July 1, 2016

The following true story happened a year or so before our younger daughter Valerie was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a bone cancer. I have never forgotten it since it demonstrates the hold that memory sometimes has on time.  ∞∞∞ Dressing for Aaron’s Bar Mitzvah was hazardous duty with my two little kids around and I […]

INFORMED CONSENT AND CANCER: The Contrast Between Henrietta Lacks and McKenna Wetzel

| December 14, 2015

A few weeks after I finished reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a 2010 biography by Rebecca Skloot, an article in the Newark Star-Ledger popped into my head. The article, about McKenna Claire Wetzel, and written by Sandy Kleffman in 2012, was headlined Killer Cells donated to find a cure for other youngsters. I […]