I was born and raised in Australia in a traditional, warm and loving Jewish home, but I was not introduced to Chabad until I met my future husband, Michel Meir, whose family was connected to Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid and Rebbetzin Devorah Groner, the Chabad emissaries in Melbourne.
After we got married, we also became close with the Groners and, at one point, Rabbi Groner offered me a teaching position at the Beth Rivkah high school for girls and Yeshivah College for boys, where I taught off and on until my family grew and I was needed at home.
We first met the Rebbe in 1985, when we came to New York for a fundraising dinner on behalf of Colel Chabad. We were introduced to him as he was leaving his office. I don’t even remember what he said to us because I was so overwhelmed by his presence. As soon as he looked at me with his piercing blue eyes, I knew that he could see exactly who I was and what potential I had in me. It was a very moving moment in my life.
Three years later, we met the Rebbe again, and this is where my story really begins.
By way of background, I must explain that there is a history of breast cancer in my family, on my mother’s side. My mother herself was diagnosed with it and passed away six years later, at forty-nine years of age. Then another relative was diagnosed with it when she was in her early 30s, although after treatment she recovered. And then I myself found a lump. This was in 1988. (more…)