Aimee Beyda steals away for 45 minutes every morning to the quiet of her second bedroom, where she engages in an ancient practice that has transformed her life. Wrapped in a soft blanket, Beyda focuses on her inhalations and exhalations, the ebb and flow of her breath. She allows thoughts to wash over her, but not to drag her in or under.
“Meditating is like a pill. It takes the edge off things a little bit,” says Beyda. “If I’m down, I just say it’s OK. I can deal with that.”
New project aims to educate and to enlist thousands of Jewish women in a comprehensive study on genetic factors.
Special To The Jewish Week
Marcia Byalick was 38 years old when her mother died from ovarian cancer. Since then, she has lived with the fear that she and her daughters are at high risk of developing ovarian cancer. When Byalick recently learned of a new study focusing on breast and ovarian cancer among Jewish women, she was eager to participate.
Rabbi Dayle Friedman, author and director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College’s Hiddur: The Center for Aging and Judaism, has served as a pioneer in the Jewish community’s work with the elderly. She was founding director of chaplaincy services at the Philadelphia Geriatric
Center, and a founding member of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and the Forum on Aging, Religion and Spirituality.
Women with breast cancer have seen a modest increase in survival rates over the past decade, as both prophylactic and combative treatment options become more widely available, and as expertise in genetics and molecular biology continue to expand on the clinical level.