JWRP Sister Spotlight: Raquel Salame Mussali
Raquel Salame Mussali is a wife, a mother of three, and a JWRP sister who lives in Mexico City. While living in San Diego, Raquel was accepted to participate in MOMentum, but needed to withdraw her application when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A year and a half later, Raquel had recovered and decided to celebrate by experiencing MOMentum. In our conversation, Raquel shared what helped her through her journey with breast cancer, as well as a story about her powerful visit to the Kotel.
What inspired you to travel to Israel with the JWRP?
I thought the trip sounded incredible, and I wanted to experience Israel alongside other mothers and connect with women from all over the world. When I was able to experience MOMentum after recovering from breast cancer, I felt like I was being given a second chance. After a difficult time, I was healthy again and I wanted a sense of spiritual and emotional closure. I knew that I’d find that in Israel.
How did MOMentum impact you?
Visiting the Kotel was an experience I had been waiting for. I wanted to thank G-d for my health. As soon as I arrived at the Kotel, I started crying and couldn’t stop. At one point, I felt a hand on my shoulder and I heard someone say in Spanish, “I hope she’s okay. I hope things get easier for her.” I didn’t know who the person was, but I was touched that she was praying for me. When I turned around, I saw so many of my JWRP sisters surrounding me and showing their support for me. The person who I’d heard pray for me was my roommate and good friend, whom I’d encouraged to join MOMentum. It truly felt like an HP (Hashgachat Pratit/Higher Power) moment!
During my week in Israel, I loved seeing the way Israelis live. They are happy and strong people, who appreciate each and every day. It made me realize that though life can be hard, we can experience joy and create wonderful opportunities for ourselves. MOMentum revitalized me. It was empowering to be healthy and to experience Israel as a woman, mother, and wife. I returned home feeling stronger and more complete.
What helped you in your journey with breast cancer?
Struggling with breast cancer was full of hard moments and uncertainty. Maintaining a positive attitude was very helpful. In the beginning, I told myself that I’d do whatever I needed to do in order to beat cancer and that I’d be as strong as possible. I maintained a strong face for my children, prepared myself for the worst, and leaned on my husband, parents, and friends, who provided wonderful support. I also stayed connected to G-d.
How has your perspective changed since your experience with breast cancer?
When life gives you hard experiences, you understand life in a different way. Now, if I want to do something, I don’t wait long to do it. Life is short and it’s not in our hands. I live life to the fullest. I don’t waste time feeling angry or upset. I don’t spend time doing things that aren’t important to me. If I want to make changes in my life, I do so. I reach out to people who I can help, and I try to fill my life and my loved ones’ lives with happiness.