Team of the Week

Hindy’s Helpers
 

Hindy’s Helpers: Picking up where Hindy Weinstock left off…

Tova Weinstock founded Hindy’s Helpers in 2009 in honor of her mother, who died from breast cancer at the age of 48.  The team’s 2011 fundraising goal is $4,000.

Hindy Weinstock was a speech pathologist who worked in a disadvantage neighborhood in the Bronx.  “She loved devoting time to volunteering in her community, helping her young patients and doing anything to make her husband and three children happy,” said Weinstock.  Her life was cut short after losing her second fight with breast cancer.

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The Weinstock family in 1999 (L to r,
father Norman, sister Aviva, Tova
(12-years-old), Hindy and brother Yosef.

Weinstein was in the fourth grade when her mother was first diagnosed.  “I was pretty much kept in the dark and only have memories of words like tumor, radiation and chemotherapy,” she remembered.  The time was marked by a “blur” of mysterious visits to the doctor, understanding that “mommy is sick” and confusion about exactly what was wrong.  “I was introduced to the fact that parents aren’t immortal beings who will always be there to take care of their children,” Weinstock explained. 

The cancer went into remission but returned four years later, when Weinstock was in the eighth grade.  “For over a year, I watched my mother slowly be taken over as the cancer spread from her breasts to her lungs and eventually her brain,” she said. Hindy Weinstock always approached her illness with strength, a smile and a positive attitude — an attitude that allowed her to push and live longer than any doctor imagined was possible.

Towards the end of her life, her children spent time cuddling up in bed with their mother to keep her company.  It became harder for her to speak, write and understand but the three siblings would tell her stories of family vacations and special events they had shared, as well as progress reports on her students.   Hindy died in the summer — a difficult time for Tova, because all her friends were away. “Our home felt like Grand Central Station with visitors coming in and out all day.  Nobody was ready to let go,” she remembered.

It took years before Weinstock was ready to create a team in her mother’s memory. Members have included family (last year’s team included her twin niece and nephew born months before the Race), Tova’s friends and her mother’s friends.  This year, the team has more members than ever.  Friends have used word of mouth, attracting their friends from Connecticut, New Jersey and Philadelphia.  “I feel so touched that people who never met my mother have signed up for the team,” she said.  Funds are being raised through Facebook posts and a Facebook event invitation.  Weinstein and her friends are also sending out personal emails about why and who they’re racing for.

“Every year is still very hard,” said Weinstock.  “But racing as a team in my mother’s memory brings me so much joy.  I know she’s happy knowing her ‘helpers” are picking up where she left off!”