Friends, family rally behind memory of breast cancer victim to raise funds
April 20, 2012 | Mike Cohen - Quebec Bureau Chief
Members of Team Glenda, both walkers and volunteers, hold up a photo of the woman they are honouring: Roberta Strulovitch, Eran Strulovitch (Glenda’s husband), Bertha Kaufman (Glenda’s mother), Andrea Bertalan, Donna Gold, Stacey Waks, Maayan Strulovitch (Glenda’s daughter), Farla Salmanovitch, Jodie Margolis-Freedman, Tayla Strulovitch (Glenda’s daughter) and Samantha Waks. Erika Schwartz was absent from the photo. (Photo: Mike McLean
MONTREAL – The Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix Weekend to End Women’s Cancers takes place in Montreal, Toronto and Alberta, with each event rolling out over different two-day periods in July, August and September.
Annually since 2005, more than $45 million has been raised by weekend participants in Montreal, enabling numerous advances in cancer research and care. Proceeds continue to fund innovative research, treatment, and prevention programs for breast and gynecologic cancers at the Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital. The 2012 edition is set for Aug. 25 and 26 and heartwarming stories are already starting to evolve as women get set to walk either 32 or 61 km. Participants can designate their fundraising dollars to go specifically to breast cancer or gynecologic cancers.
Glenda Kaufman passed away last July from breast cancer. Sadly, she thought she had beaten the disease 12 years earlier. For friends like Jodie Margolis-Freedman, it was a tough pill to swallow. “Glenda and I became friends at a very young age,” she recalls. “We both thought we connected in kindergarten. Our parents say it was before that at the local community swimming pool. Her death had affected so many people.”
For Margolis-Freedman watching her friend fight so hard and feeling so helpless, was torture.
“You pray for a miracle, but unfortunately, that was not going to happen,” she said. “Every day after work we would run down to see her and support her husband, daughters and parents.”
Margolis-Freedman decided recently to do something in her friend’s memory and established a team to take part in the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. This includes friends and Glenda’s 17-year-old daughter.
“Our team captain, Andrea Bertelan, was the first to decide to walk, then Farla Salmanovitch,” she explains. “They both kept asking me to join, I will admit, I was very intimidated by the $2,000 commitment, in order to walk, but finally, I agreed last November. I sent out emails to everyone I knew, posted on Facebook, spoke about it often, and reached my fundraising goal by the beginning of March.”
By March, Tayla, Glenda’s 17-year-old daughter, decided to join the group, albeit a little apprehensive about the financial commitment. The team continued to grow, with friends Donna Gold, Roberta Strulovitch and Samantha Waks signing on. Glenda’s 14-year-old daughter Maayan was too young to walk, but, to honour her mom she will be volunteering that day.
“As each of us reach our fundraising goal, we have been asking people to donate in Tayla’s name to make sure she can walk. She is at $1,650. We look forward to celebrating our goal and Glenda’s life at the finish line with her husband Eran Strulovitch, who rallied around Glenda and did not leave her side for a moment, sleeping at the hospital from the day she went in, until the day she died, as he is supporting us and encouraging and rallying around all of us.
“He is the team’s greatest support. Glenda’s family is truly my inspiration for doing the walk. Courage and determination beyond anyone’s imagination, Glenda will live on through her girls. I am truly proud to be part of Team Glenda. As a team, we are truly a strong force.”
For more information on how you can get involved go to www.endcancer.ca