JERUSALEM, Israel - The global fight against breast cancer gained new attention this week in Israel, thanks, in part, to Fox News Correspondent Jennifer Griffin.
Griffin has covered dangerous war zones while on assignment in Israel and elsewhere. But nothing had prepared her for the fight of her life against the deadly disease that has affected thousands of women around the world.
More than 4,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Israel. It is the biggest killer of women in the Jewish state.
One of the biggest challenges is the lack of knowledge about prevention. The Susan G. Komen Foundation hopes to change that by bringing the internationally known Race for the Cure to the Holy Land.
Thousands of men and women, Jews and Arabs alike, gathered in Jerusalem on Thursday, Oct. 28, for a first of its kind event in Israel against breast cancer. Griffin was among them.
"I couldn't not come," she told CBN News. "We spent seven and a half years here in Israel. We covered the Intifada for seven years. My two daughters were born in Hadassah, Mt. Scopus."
Sustained by Prayer
In September 2009, doctors diagnosed Griffin with an aggressive form of breast cancer.
"I was diagnosed on Yom Kippur last year," she said. "I was diagnosed with stage three, triple-negative breast cancer. I underwent 17 rounds of chemo. I had a double mastectomy in April, six weeks of daily radiation.
"I'm back and I'm fighting fit," she added. "And I'm here to tell women here you can get through chemotherapy."
Now cancer-free, the Fox News correspondent said her faith grew throughout the ordeal.
"What carried me through were my family members, my friends, and a lot of prayers," she said. "Every week my friends here in Jerusalem would send me notes; they would show me these pink notes that they'd put in the Western Wall prayers."
"Friends would go to the Holy Sepulchre and pray for me," she continued. "There were a lot of prayers that lifted us up and gave us a lot of strength. And I'm here today to say that miracles are possible."
The Need for Openness
Griffin's long-time Israeli friend Lori Rapp - also a breast-cancer survivor - said she believes openness is important.
"I think it's very important, you know, to wear the pink shirt and to show people you can go on; you can beat it; you can fight it," Rapp said. "I come from Holocaust survivor parents also who say you go on and you continue."
Griffin grew emotional near the end of the 2.5-mile race. She said she has high hopes that a cure will be found for the disease here.
"For me personally being here, the land of miracles, this is where we're going to find a cure for breast cancer," she said.