"Her face lit up when I told her that the SHARE’s helpline volunteers are trained survivors of breast or ovarian cancer and could surely address whatever concerns she or her friend might have. She told me that she had no idea that an organization like SHARE existed and was grateful that a chance visit to the Consulate helped her find some of the answers that she had been seeking."
Who are SHARE Ambassadors?
SHARE Ambassadors are breast and ovarian cancer survivors or caregivers trained to educate under-served Latino, African-American and Caribbean communities about these diseases.
All are women of color, and they offer educational presentations at community-based organizations in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.
Stay up-to-date with us by liking our SHARE Ambassador Program Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/SHAREAAAPROGRAM/.
If you'd like to get involved in the Ambassador project or your organization is interested in a presentation or receiving materials, please email [email protected].
Why is the SHARE Ambassador initiative important?
Low-income communities of color face health care disparities that are well-documented and need to be addressed.
According to the American Cancer Society, "Black women have the highest death rates of all racial and ethnic groups and are 42% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. Higher death rates among African American women likely reflect a combination of factors, including differences in the stage of cancer at diagnosis… timely access to screening, diagnostic, and treatment services.” To improve the disparity due to fewer social and economic resources, black women need more timely follow-up and improved access to the entire continuum of care.
Hispanic women are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage with larger tumors that are more difficult to treat. It is believed that these disparities exist because of both medical reasons, such as higher rates of diabetes, and sociological reasons, such as cultural differences, language barriers, less access to treatment, and lower rates of mammograms in the Hispanic community.
How have SHARE Ambassadors made a difference?
"Thank you so much for coming last month and sharing information that could very well save our lives. You really don’t know how impactful your testimony and your colleague’s testimony was to us."
Through hosting presentations, giving out educational brochures and flyers, attending healthcare events and more, SHARE’s outreach efforts touch 40,480 lives annually with vital information about risks, risk factors, screening, symptoms, and treatments for breast and ovarian cancer. Our Ambassadors have raised breast and ovarian cancer awareness at:
- Ryan Center
- Harlem Health and Wellness Summit
- VNSNY Choice Health Plans Senior Meeting
- HealthFirst Health and Wellness Expo
- Councilman Mark Levine’s 6th Annual Health and Wellness Fair
- Black Health Matters Summit
- Bronx Boro President Black History Month Celebration
The efforts of dedicated Ambassadors help to educate an increasing number of people in medically underserved communities about breast and ovarian cancer, empowering them to make informed decisions about their health despite ongoing health inequity. One Ambassador spoke to a fellow breast cancer survivor after giving a presentation at a Queens library and shared about the importance of genetic testing; that woman then had her daughter undergo testing, giving her the information she needed to understand her health. After another presentation, a LatinaSHARE Ambassador met a young woman who was intending to quit treatment for her breast cancer. After being encouraged by this Ambassador, she decided to continue her treatment.
These kinds of personal, real-world impacts are what Ambassadors offer their communities.
How do I become a SHARE Ambassador?
All of our ambassadors have their own unique stories --- from being survivors themselves to being a loved one of a patient or survivor --- if you are passionate about breaking down the barriers to health equity and SHARE’s mission to connect women at risk with peers who understand, please explore becoming an Ambassador.
Many of our ambassadors got involved through being in a support group or attending a health fair. However, it is not required! To become one of our almost 30 ambassadors, you will need to first submit an application. Then, you will meet with our Outreach Team to discuss further training such as shadowing, in office training, educational sessions, and more. That way, we make sure that all our ambassadors understand the importance of their responsibilities and tasks. Please contact our Outreach Manager, Dominique Bethea at [email protected], for more details!
SHARE thanks The New York City Council's Cancer Initiative through the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for providing major funding for this project.
Significant funding has also been provided by the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Fund in The New York Community Trust.
Additional funding has been provided by Genentech and our donors.