April 30th, 2018 by Camrin Parnell
This past week, the “Talya Center,” focused on treating young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, was dedicated. The Talya Center will be led by Dr. Shani Paluch-Shimon, the Director of our Breast Oncology Unit.
This center is in memory of Talya Blilious z”l who passed away two years ago (18.5.2016) at the age of 46 after struggling with breast cancer for ten years. Her husband Eli shared, “The center is my initiative and is intended to give patients the added support that they need… Cancer is a chronic disease and the patient’s goal and their family’s goal is to live with it for many years. Almost every week, patients come to the hospital for tests, monitoring and treatments. This extra support is especially important for young women who need to work and raise their children…Talya was very fortunate because she had a lot of family support and also the means to contend with these challenges. Most women are not as fortunate. Many women, after a day of chemotherapy, return home and need to take care of their children…Talya liked to help modestly and quietly…she volunteered in many places…If there is something that I know, it is that she would be happy with the supportive services that this center will provide patients.”
This unique center offers patients a wide range of services including genetic counseling, fertility preservation, breast cancer treatment during and post-pregnancy, as well as psycho-social support. A special counselor will help patients coordinate with various units within Shaare Zedek including, genetics, fertility, breast imaging, breast surgery and plastic surgery.
Dr. Paluch-Shimon explained, “Patients will have a personal counselor, someone who is neither a doctor nor a nurse, who will help patients maneuver through the medical system from the moment that the patient is informed that the doctor found something that is concerning…Young patients in their 20’s to 40’s, have a lot going on—fertility concerns, marital issues, family responsibilities and professional pressures. We want to help them. In addition to the symptoms associated with cancer among women of all ages, including the challenges to one’s femininity, sexuality and self-image, a higher percentage of young women have an increased risk of genetic mutation…Our main goal is to offer patient-centered care, which will help our patients cope better with the challenges of the disease and will support the therapeutic process for these women. ”
Many friends and family attended the ceremony including Talya’s husband, Eli, her children Roni, Arad and Amit as well as her parents, Tirza and Zion Turgeman (CEO of the Ariel Municipal Company), and Eli’s mother, Theresa Blilious, as well as Jerusalem’s Mayor, Nir Barkat, and the Director General of Shaare Zedek, Professor Jonathan Halevy.
Mr. Zion Turgeman said, “For us the opening of this center is mixed with sadness and happiness…It is hard to describe how challenging the last two years have been for all of us, for the family, the children and for Eli, her husband…Dr. Paluch-Shimon [who treated Talya] admired Talya and loved her and was very connected to her…”
If you would like to make an appointment or for additional information, please call 02-5645435.