Learning the Meaning
of Commitment

Dr. Yashar Hirshaut presents award to
Dr. Deborah Axelrod

HE theme of the silver anniversary of Israel Cancer Research Fund was “commitment.” To illustrate, Dr. Yashar Hirshaut, ICRF president, told about a woman who watched two men at work. One man was digging a hole, piling the earth neatly on the side. The other man then shoveled the earth back into the hole.

The men moved on down the street and again began to dig a hole, then refill it.

After watching them do this several times, the woman couldn’t resist asking what they were doing.

“We’re part of the neighborhood beautification program,” the first man explained. “I dig the hole. Irving puts in the tree. Then Joe here fills in the hole. Just because Irving is sick, the rest of us shouldn’t do our job?”

“That’s what I call commitment,” Hirshaut said.

“ICRF is committed to find an answer to the terror of cancer. Research is being done in Israel where terror is a word well understood.”

Tower of Hope emcee Jamie Colby-Wallack,
Fox 5 (left), with ICRF chairman Leah Susskind.
Photos by Bill Stanton Photography

Hirshaut presented the Humanitarian Tower of Hope Award to Dr. Deborah Axelrod, chief of the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center at Saint Vincent’s Medical Center in New York and associate professor of surgery at New York Medical College.

The 25th anniversary dinner took place at The Plaza in Manhattan, where the emcee was Jamie Colby-Wallack, co-host of WebMD TV Weekend. Dinner chairs were Bruce and Cindy Koplowitz, Dr. Rachel Ostry and Dr. Ed Adler.

Axelrod and Rosie O’Donnell co-authored Bosom Buddies: Lessons and Laughter about Breast Health and Cancer (Warner Books). Axelrod also founded the educational website

An ICRF cancer research fellowship will be named for Dr. Axelrod.

“I don’t deserve this honor,” she said, “but I don’t want a recount.”


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