I prepared my breakfast and placed it on the table. In front of me, the latest copy of the Atlanta Jewish Times Nov. 30, 2022, issue. The issue is titled “40 Under 40” but it is open on page 12 – “JSCREEN Saves Mother and Daughter” article. My wife, Karen Grinzaid, who’s been living, breathing, “driving” Emory’s JSCREEN for almost 10 years, now laid the article out for me to read. I knew that this would not be my regular breakfast reading, which usually consists of the latest news, interesting bits, and catch-ups on overnight emails.
We always share our achievements to each other: I bore my wife with electricity, data centers, and various other engineering “nonsense” and she enlightens me with her successes and worries trying to save children from being born with devastating genetic diseases and now JSCREEN’s newest endeavor trying to save women’s (and men’s) lives from the devastating cancers.
This time, trying to eat my breakfast and read Marcia Caller Jaffe’s article about this incredible life-saving story (one of a few which have been happening at the amazing JSCREEN) – I got very emotional. Tears welled-up in my eyes, unable to eat, choked-up with a flurry of visions. Visions of my wife, Karen, sitting late nights in our at-home, make-shift office, trying to do it all for this non-profit business, pouring her heart into trying to test as many Jewish people for these devastating conditions, trying to keep the flow of funding to sustain the company’s operations, running her small group of dedicated and, also amazing, employees spread out across a few states, spending 10-12 hour days covering most of the bases in JSCREEN’s game of life.
Articles like this one “feed two birds with one scone,” as the modified old saying goes. Jewish people of Atlanta and all other cities across the nation can see how being proactive can possibly save their lives; plus, it creates awareness with Jewish philanthropy, possibly creating a mental note to consider supporting such an amazing, lifesaving, family-saving organization.
JSCREEN does not rest on their laurels. Prenatal and cancer testing is constantly getting expanded to cover more Jewish (and non-Jewish) genetic conditions picked-up by the ever-expanding saliva-based test panels, trying to enter many (if not all) states in the country with this program’s visibility (people can already request a test kit from JScreen.org from any state in the United States), approaching potential donors and organizations with powerful new support and growth opportunities.
Thank you so much, Atlanta Jewish Times, for such wonderful mitzvah stories, a true testament how powerful can paper and ink be in improving, enlightening, and saving people’s lives…one page at a time.
Jimmy Grinzaid, Atlanta