To celebrate the 25th anniversary of LatinaSHARE, we are telling stories of women who have turned to LatinaSHARE over the years and helped make LatinaSHARE into the thriving and critically important program it is today.
1. What was it like when you were first diagnosed? What resources did you access?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on August 19, 2010. When I learned that I had cancer, I asked for a second opinion. I started looking for help, especially in my language. I was searching the internet for Latina women with breast cancer help when I found the SHARE website, and I was able to access to Spanish version from there.
2. How did you get involved with LatinaSHARE? How did your involvement change over time?
I got involved with Latina SHARE after I called the Helpline. I will never forget Jennie Colon, who I first spoke with when she connected me with Maria Teresa Estrella. Maria was also diagnosed with cancer when she was almost the same age I was, and like me, she also had children. She is now the Co-Director of LatinaSHARE. What I liked about SHARE was that they looked for someone with a similar case for me to connect with. I started attending the LatinaSHARE support groups, then worked on the Helpline, then became an Ambassador. Now I give talks about breast and ovarian cancer in community spaces and facilitate the Brentwood-Long Island Support Group.
3. Why is LatinaSHARE so important?
LatinaSHARE is part of me. I was reborn when my SECOND OPPORTUNITY FOR LIFE began: I began to see cancer with other eyes, with the eyes of LOVE, because of them. I am now able to support a struggling community that needs help, through my experience and through the information we give, helping them become more educated and supported by SHARE’s services.
4. What is your hope for LatinaSHARE on its 25th Anniversary?
My message to LatinaSHARE on its 25th Anniversary is that I wish it all the success in the world. Thank you for being present for so many women that need help. Many blessings!