TORONTO — Cantor Eric Moses and his family decided to participate in the Sept. 30 CIBC Run for the Cure, presented by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, after his son, Sammy, a student at Associated Hebrew Schools, came home with Project Give Back.
The assignment involved researching a charity and presenting it to the class.
Moses, the cantor at Beth Sholom Synagogue, and his wife, Melissa Lieberman-Moses, a psychologist, thought that they should help make the project relevant to their son and his twin sisters.
“We told them about Melissa’s battle with breast cancer, which began when she was pregnant with the twins, nine years earlier. She had five surgeries, followed by chemotherapy,” he said.
“It was quite an emotional discussion. We always wondered when we would tell the kids, and this was the perfect opportunity. We had thought we would tell them when they were a little older, but they handled it well.”
After learning about his mother’s battle with cancer – she has the BRCA 1 gene deficiency – Sammy began to research the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Moses said.
He decided to take part in the run and set a goal of raising $100.
“Before he knew it, he had raised $1,000, and the whole family got on board,” the cantor said. “In the end, our small family of five raised $25,184, and we ended up being in the top five teams in terms of fundraising – only to be bested by several corporations. On a personal note, I ended up third overall in personal donations.”
Also in the works, Moses said, is a concert in the fall of 2013 or spring 2014 featuring female artists, which will raise money to help test women for the BRCA gene.
“We got an email from a doctor who said they have tested 7,000 women for the gene, but the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation does not have funds to test every woman. We were inspired to help out,” he said.
“Our objective is not only to raise money to enable Jewish women across Ontario to continue to be tested, but to raise awareness about the BRCA gene and its deficiency among Jewish women.”
Breast cancer survivor Melissa Lieberman-Moses and her family took part in the recent CIBC Run for the Cure. Pictured with her are husband Eric Moses and children, from left, Sammy, Aviva and Talia.