By Melanie Bujanda-Romero, Executive Director
In college, my sorority's philanthropy focus was breast cancer awareness. It was then that I learned of a staggering statistic: one in eight women will develop some form of breast cancer in their lifetime. It was a mind-blowing figure, but one I didn’t think would ever affect me.
Until it did.
On an unusually chilly November day last year, my mother called me at my home in Texas to give me the terrifying news: she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. There are no words to describe the array of emotions that followed – fear, worry, sadness…these words do little to express the shock I felt.
Fortunately, my mother is within the small percentage of minority women who have a designated primary care physician – one who worked diligently to ensure that my mom received an annual mammogram… a simple exam that resulted in early diagnosis and ultimately, saved my mother’s life.
Now, nearly a year later, in spite of surgery and treatment difficulties that were hard for her to experience and for our family to witness, my mom is still with us.
Because her cancer was detected early, she is still making memories with us, still celebrating special moments with us, still living her best life, and we know we are very lucky. Without that early detection, her story – and our family’s story – might have been very different.
As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, and on behalf of my sweet mother, Rosa Eva, please don’t delay your yearly check-ins with your primary care doctor. Make them a priority, and encourage others to do the same.