At Latinas Contra Cancer (LCC), we ensure no one battles cancer alone. We are here for our clients as they navigate a cancer diagnosis and the road to survivorship. Overcoming obstacles caused by a health care system that places an extra burden on those already struggling through economic or social barriers, our clients have powerful stories of resilience and community.
How we help
Can you imagine two members of a family battling cancer at the same time? This is what happened to June and Anita, a courageous mother-daughter pair. June, 72, had already gone through a double mastectomy when her daughter Anita, 54, called to tell her that she had ovarian cancer.
Both had insurance, which covered their treatment, but they faced barriers with transportation and needed support as they navigated treatment and survivorship. Having faced cancer herself, June went with Anita to all of her appointments where a social worker noticed that they were struggling and referred them to Latinas Contra Cancer.
Our Boutique offered June a chance to address her post-surgery appearance: she was fitted and given two silicone breast prostheses, two pocketed bras and a specially made swimsuit. Anita’s hair had started to fall out due to chemo so she “shopped” as well, picking out a beautiful wig and colorful head scarf, a hat and a bracelet, all free of charge.
“The thing about a boutique like ours is that it gives our clients the dignity of choice while being pampered as a customer, regardless of their financial situation,” says Darcie, CEO of Latinas Contra Cancer. “The women we serve are balancing so much between taking care of families, holding down jobs and being a part of their communities in addition to surviving cancer. Our boutique is an opportunity to prioritize themselves and the things they need to look and feel their best.”
How you can help us do more
While our patient navigation and survivor support programs can address the needs of many clients, unique needs always arise. Whether it is an air conditioner for a woman currently undergoing chemotherapy during a recent heat surge, transportation for a patient struggling to make appointments, one-on-one therapy, or a quality wig and breast prosthesis, we work to meet each person’s needs, in English and Spanish, at no cost to our clients.
For the low income Hispanic families we support, this is a lifeline. As if cancer weren’t hard enough, these families struggle with things many of us take for granted: transportation, childcare, and paying for utilities or food. When you add the complications associated with differences in culture, language and social barriers, women with cancer can feel as if they are facing an impossible situation.
Join us to help more Latinas rise above these unexpected health challenges so they may lead connected, engaged lives.
Your donation will help us to achieve two goals:
- To support promotores, trained peers who provide culturally sensitive accompaniment and assistance so that our patients can prioritize their health. Services include translation; assistance tracking and attending appointments; guidance related to cancer support groups, free to low-cost insurance and care programs, and a safety net of other critical resources.
- To continue the work of our recently opened Wig and Prosthesis Boutique in San José. This beautiful space offers wigs, knit caps, colorful head scarves, silicone breast prostheses, support camisoles,swim suits, tank tops, and accessories for cancer patients and survivors. The women we serve are uninsured or underinsured and without our Boutique these items would be inaccessible.
About Latinas Contra Cancer
We are a small nimble organization, entirely committed to better meet the unique needs of each and every individual and family and we fill a gap rarely touched by other funding streams.
Founded in 2003, we are a Latina-created and led and so we understand the barriers that women and families in the Hispanic community face. We work with diverse nonprofits, schools, churches, healthcare systems, universities and government entities to create real community change and directly impact the lives of those we serve.
Since 2003, we have educated over 5,000 individuals about cancer, resulting in hundreds of preventive screenings and many early detections. In 2010, we piloted the first of its kind patient navigator program at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
Sobrato Cancer Center and have served 500 Spanish speaking cancer patients through thousands of patient navigator interactions and monthly support groups. Using our in-house curriculum, we has trained over 200 community health educators (promotoras) from Florida to Texas and throughout California. LCC has convened six National Latino Cancer Summits bringing together 1,000 researchers, advocates, community health workers. In 2019, we celebrated the opening of our Wig & Prosthesis Boutique. Since it’s opening in March, the Boutique has served nearly 80 women in need and at no charge.