"I was waiting at a bus stop, and a beautiful, young Latina woman came up to me," wrote Gale Brewer, a former City Council Member who was elected Manhattan Borough President. Brewer recently sent a letter to SHARE telling us what this woman said.
"She said that she had found an organization called SHARE, and that staff there had 'saved her life, literally,'" wrote Borough President Brewer.
"Maria" was diagnosed with breast cancer in October. She had never been sick in her life, and she didn't want to have the surgery that doctors were recommending. But with the encouragement of Jennie Santiago, SHARE's Survivor Patient Navigator at St. Luke's Hospital, and Jennie's LatinaSHARE support group, she agreed to the procedure.
But she decided that surgery was all she'd do -- she would not have chemo, even though her doctor prescribed it. But then she met Marjorie Schwartz, SHARE Helpline Volunteer and Support Group Facilitator. Marjorie welcomed Maria into the breast cancer support group and encouraged her to undergo the treatments.
Marjorie accompanied her to her first chemo session and continues to support her as she goes weekly. "Without SHARE's support, she would have stopped going to her treatments; she was ready to quit, and would have if not for SHARE's guidance," wrote Brewer.
Maria's story is just one example of how important it is to find support when facing breast or ovarian cancer. Whether it's from a friend, family member, or an organization like SHARE that trains survivors to offer help and guidance, support can make the difference between getting treated and remaining untreated, between life and death.
We're so happy Maria accepted SHARE's support and chose treatment -- and that Borough President Brewer passed along Maria's thanks!