ISRAEL CANCER RESEARCH Survivor Brings Smiles
To The Cancer Afflicted
by Tim Boxer
ARANNE ROTHBERG was 35 when cancer invaded her body. She fought back. Chemo made her bald as an eagle but she didnít mind. She was determined to win the battle.
Today she is a stage four cancer survivor "which means cancer has left the breast," she said at an Israel Cancer Research Fund luncheon at the Mandarin Oriental.
Women are going, "Do you think thatís her real hair?" Scientists are going, "Do you think thatís her real boobs?" She answers yes to both.
You can tell Saranneís treatment included loads of laughs. She went to the video store and grabbed every comedy video on display.
"I realized that if I could still laugh, the cancer did not get to me. If I could find some humor, then the legacy Iím leaving my daughter Lauriel, whoís 14, is one of strength and joy."
Saranne and Lauriel became humor buddies. In fact Saranne took it a step further. She launched Comedy Cures, a foundation to help people deal with cancer through humor.
"Laughing a hundred times a day is like rowing or bicycling for 20 minutes Ė youíll live longer," said the comedian, now 44.
Criminal defense lawyer Ben Brafman, whose wife is a breast cancer survivor, emceed a program that honored Saranne, handbag designer Judith Leiber, and Jacky Teplitzky.
"I notice that Judith Leiber is carrying a Kate Spade bag," Brafman said. "Now thatís funny."
Teplitzky, who was born in Chile and raised in Israel, lives with her husband and two children in New York where she works at Prudential Real Estate Network.
In Israel she worked in tourism, which made her eminently qualified for her present profession.
"Think about it," she said. "If you can sell Israel as a fun and leisure destination, you can sell Manhattan real estate."