Sharon's story

2018-11-15 4:23:09 PM

As we celebrate National Philanthropy Day, we celebrate the many supporters of Women’s College Hospital who have generously donated their time, energy and philanthropy in support of our mission to revolutionize healthcare.

One such supporter is Sharon Newman – a grateful breast cancer survivor whose diagnosis and treatment at Women’s College Hospital has inspired nearly a decade of advocacy and support.

Sharon’s connection to Women’s College Hospital began in 2010 when members of her community urged her to participate in a research study testing 2,000 Ontario Jewish women for the BRCA genetic mutation, which has been linked to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

A few months later, Sharon was shocked to receive the news that she carried the BRCA2 mutation. After referral to the High Risk Breast Centre to undergo baseline testing and an initial mammogram, Sharon received even more devastating news: she already had breast cancer.

Sharon decided immediately to have a life-saving double mastectomy and reconstruction. Just 15 days after diagnosis, she underwent surgery at Women’s College Hospital where her surgical team successfully removed her breast cancer. Today, Sharon is cancer-free and committed to sharing her story in the hopes of inspiring others to take control of their own health.

“Knowledge is power,” says Sharon, “and I feel like I need to inspire others to know their history and be aware of the risk factors. If I can inspire someone else to get tested and advocate for their own health, then this has all been worth it.”

Empowered by the knowledge that she can help save the lives of women around the world through research being done at Women’s College Hospital, Sharon established The Sharon Newman Family Fund to support hereditary breast and ovarian cancer research at Women’s College Hospital.

She also generously contributes proceeds from her sales of Beautycounter products – a line of cosmetic and personal care products whose mission is to put safer products in the hands of everyone. 

“With Beautycounter, I can advocate, educate, sell the products I believe in and then give back to Women’s College Hospital,” Sharon states. “It all made sense to me; it completes the circle.”

In addition to fundraising within her community and working to spread awareness about safer personal care products, Sharon is also a dedicated volunteer with Women’s College Hospital.

“There are little things that you can do to help your cause,” says Sharon. “And when you know better, you do better.”

Women’s College Hospital Foundation is proud to be the recipient of Sharon’s generosity. She leads by example as she advocates for the causes she believes in. With Sharon’s support – and the support of our community, we can continue to advance the health of women and everyone.

If you would like to browse the Beautycounter product line, visit Sharon’s Beautycounter. Your online purchase of any Beautycounter product will help to advance important hereditary cancers research at Women’s College Hospital.