Many of Good Grief's families are working to make a difference in their community after experiencing the death of a loved one. Alexis Gubbay's husband, Judah, died at the age of 43 after a 13 year illness with breast cancer. As part of her healing and story, she wants the world to know that guys get breast cancer too!
As a member of the Good Grief community, Alexis "feels safe amongst others who have also gone through great loss. Each family has a different story, different ways of coping and a different journey. Good Grief holds your hand along that journey and supports you in all the ways a family might need. From this supportive community some kind of balance can slowly unfold. As a result of this care and compassion, I finally started doing the advocacy work I knew I needed to do which was to get the word out that Pink or Blue, Guys Get it Too!"
Alexis said: "it is not only our wives, our mothers, our sisters and our daughters....breast cancer also affects our husbands, our fathers, our brothers and our sons. Because there is so little awareness of this fact, there is a higher mortality rate for men with breast cancer.
That is exactly what happened to my husband.
Even those close to him with medical training dismissed the early signs causing him to ignore a lump he had felt for a year and a half. There is no telling what might have been with early detection. We were a young family and Judah was one of those amazing and involved fathers full of love and delight.
He was the kind of husband that was always thoughtful and brought home flowers; the kind of employee that went the extra mile and shot for the stars and made things happen. He was honest, funny, kind and sincere. There are many, many people that miss him deeply. He left a mark on the world and a gaping hole where a special person used to be."
After Judah died, Alexis established a fund in his name at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he had been a patient for many years. Her fundraising efforts far exceeded the goal, providing the ability to fund a mammogram room in the new Estee Lauder Breast Center, in addition to research by his doctor, Dr. Andrew Seidman, who studied the unique metastasis of breast cancer to the brain. There was not enough material on male breast cancer on which to base a research project.
Alexis continues to raise awareness and also advance our knowledge of Male Breast Cancer. She hopes to raise $50,000 to $100,000 to fund groundbreaking research by Dr. Mahmoud El-Tamer of MSKCC, but stated that "$5,000 would enable [the doctor] to get a good start by identifying tissues from the tumor bank. Making a contribution here is the most significant thing you can do specifically for male breast cancer."
In an effort to raise awareness, on Sunday, May 6 she and her family will walk in the annual Komen Race For the Cure. "I am hoping to bring a crowd with my THE BLUE WAVE team and have everyone wearing blue!" Alexis is confident that the wave of people wearing blue in the sea of pink will help raise awareness!
Interested participants can sign up for THE BLUE WAVE TEAM at http://www.info-komen.org/site/TR/RacefortheCure/SMT_NorthJerseyAffiliate?team_id=198532&pg=team&fr_id=2373
Anyone interested in donating and making a difference is encouraged to make contributions directly to Male Breast Cancer research by donating to the Judah Gubbay Memorial Trust at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Please make checks payable to 'Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center' & mention the Judah Gubbay Memorial Fund in the memo. All donations are tax deductible. Donations can be sent to: Jacquelyn Ward, Associate Director, Annual Giving, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 633 Third Avenue, 12th Floor, South, New York, NY 10017, (646) 227-2886, Wardj2@mskcc.org (you can also make a credit card donation over the phone or by email). Donations may also be made online at: https://secure2.convio.net/mskcc/site/Donation2?df_id=3121&3121.donation=form1 Be sure that the 'Honorary or Memorial Gift' section is filled out with Judah Gubbay.