To celebrate International Women's Day, we interviewed SHARE volunteer Gladys Udewitz on life in Brazil, her cancer diagnosis, and the importance of representation.
1. Where were you born?
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
2. What is one thing you miss about where you were born/where you grew up?
Sunny, warm weather and Copacabana Beach!
3. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Strength and the need to achieve equality. We've been trying for many years, won many battles, but haven't been completely successful yet.
4. How did you get involved with SHARE, and how long have you been working with SHARE?
I found out about SHARE in my surgeon's office after being diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer. I participated in a support group and two years after my surgery, I decided it was time to give back. I've been with SHARE for almost 13 years!
5. What inspired you to become a SHARE volunteer?
When I came in as a volunteer I saw the amount of work that needed to be done and was dedicated to doing everything I could. I was then asked to become part of the SHARE staff but did not want any income, so I started working pro bono.
6. Why do you think it’s important to have resources available for all women?
Women have always given comfort to their families, parents, husbands, siblings, children. When we need comfort, many times, no one is there for us.
Comfort comes in many forms. Even with the most loving and giving family, those trying to help an individual patient, do not understand how a woman diagnosed with cancer, is feeling. Therefore it is important for us women to help our sisters in need of understanding and guidance. There are many diseases that impact the life of a woman. Only other women who had the same experience can truly understand and help.