Published in the Jewish Link of New Jersey
In Englewood This Shabbat, ‘C’ Is for Chai Lifeline
By Bracha Schwartz | March 31, 2016
Premise to the article I’d like to share this with you…
My mother was European and became a victim of cancer. I say victim, because there was shame. We were never allowed to say the “C-word” and if we did, it was whispered. My mother kept her cancer a secret. I only informed my grandmother, who lived overseas, of her illness one week prior to her death. Years later, I realized how important it was to build a community of support and information.
Last summer, my friend and neighbor, Lori, was diagnosed with a rare form of head and throat cancer and needed to have a radical form of chemotherapy. We spoke about the “C-word” and both agreed she needed to speak up and ask friends for help (such a difficult task for many women). During her first round of chemotherapy, I visited her at the hospital. She asked me to complete a form C is 4 ______ (any C-word but cancer). Her positivity was clear and inspiring. It gave me the impetus to help her start a #Cis4 campaign hoping people around the world would offer their inspirational C-word. One day, her friend, Shira, posted a video of her and Lori pole dancing with her IV pole in hand during her hospital stay. She was not taking cancer lying down and nor would she feel victimized. I wanted this video to go viral.
Lori has a larger than life personality. Her positivity, courage and light inspired me to create the Facebook page, “Lori Schlackman: C- is 4____ ” Click here. Not only did I believe, as a creative healer, that this space would be cathartic for Lori to share her journey and experiences, I also believed she would have a following and be inspiring to so many. As an administrator in the page, I read several Private Messages to Lori from strangers who are struggling with cancer and thanked Lori for inspiring them to be positive. Lori had gained so much support, not only from family, friends and neighbors, but also from people around the world.
Click on this link and check out this video:
Please read Lori’s amazing journey of courage, strength, positive healing and light onto others in this article. Click here.
I am sharing the special “shout out” to me in the article, In Englewood This Shabbat, ‘C’ is for Chai Lifeline, by Bracha “Betty” Schwartz for the Jewish Link of New Jersey (JLNJ).
“…. When her friend Susan Greif saw the pole-dancing video, she suggested creating a social media campaign. “I thought this would be cathartic and healing for Lori as well as inspiring for women with similar challenges,” Ms. Greif told JLNJ. She created the Facebook page, Lori Schlakman: C- is 4 ___, where more people could participate. “I loved that she was so open. When my mother had breast cancer, she kept her illness a secret. I believe it’s important to open up and get support.”Ms. Greif knows something about how to help women face their challenges. A professional counselor and inspirational speaker with a practice called Art Mends Hearts, she uses the creative arts to help women and children work through emotional and physical distress. Ms. Greif says that expressive arts, like drawing, movement and keeping a journal bring subconscious, often repressed thoughts into consciousness more quickly than talk therapy, to begin the process of self-healing. She developed her approach by combining all her training: She has certification from Columbia Teacher’s College in Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, certification in the Orton-Gillingham multisensory approach for dyslexia and certification from the New School in Creative Arts and Health, as well as training in art, dance, photography and meditation. She also helped Schlakman to control her anxiety before debilitating radiation treatments that would require being pinned down without being able to move…”
Here is a my shout out to my friend Lori’s business:
Ms. Schlakman has created a social media campaign for Tabooze, #cocktails4acure, and is donating 10 percent of all profits from sales to help find a cure for cancer.
Check out Tabooze…
• Delicious Cocktail Mixer
• Sugar Free
• Calorie Free
• Electrolytes Aid Hydration
• All Natural High Quality Flavors
For more information, Contact Lori at
Facebook like: https://www.facebook.com/gettabooze/?fref=ts
“I just want to write my heartfelt testimony. When I was going through the roughest part of my cancer treatments, radiation. Susan Horn Greif, through her Arts Mend Hearts and her guided brilliance in relieving my anxiety. I could not be more greatful for her insight, professionalism and most of all her ability to help quell my anxiety through this most challenging time. She helped me, she helped my daughter, and I have no doubt she can help anyone going through any anxiety provoking situation.
Give yourself or your friend the gift of balance in life.
Thank you for everything, Susan!” -Lori Schlakman, Cancer Survivor