TODAY

TODAY   |  October 09, 2013

‘Curemonos’ helps underserved women fight breast cancer

Dora Arias is a 10-year breast cancer survivor, and decided to help other underprivileged  Latina women by establishing “Curemonos” to provide education, support and advocacy. The group has grown so much, they now help underserved women from every background and ethnicity.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to our special series hope to it and a woman that conquered breast cancer and now is helping others like her.

>> she uses her own experience and spanish speaking skills to help underserved women navigate the diagnosis.

>> we met up with her in new jersey.

>> i'm a ten year breast cancer survivor. i was born in columbia and moved to the states when i was seven years old. married and i have two grown daughters. i was diagnosed with breast cancer ten years ago and it really caught my by surprise. i started with my annual mammograms at the age of 37 based on the recommendation by my gynecologist. the first time my baseline was clear and when i was due for hi second annual, my husband pushed me and i was diagnosed. i was overwhelmed. although i spoke the language and have medical insurance it was very difficult kurfor me. i always thought what do women do when they don't speak the language or have medical insurance ? that why i established healing together. our mission is to help medically underserved women when it comes to breast cancer . we're healing together because we take women in the community that do not have insurance, that need a free mammogram, we take them into the hospitals that provide those programs for free. i don't have an office. my office is really the hospital setting or coffee shops in the community. and if they don't speak english, what i do is i accompany them to the doctors appointments and i prepare them for that visit. i tell them the questions in spanish, let they know what your fears are and symptoms are and what you want to know about the process.

>> she can kind of get under what the issue is and ask follow up questions and really get to you know what the real problem is here. so it's huge for all of us. especially the patient safety .

>> she not only serves to interpret what they're saying accurately, but she teaches me about the cultural implications that may impact a woman's ability to receive her treatment or her care. [ speaking spanish ]

>> i love what i do. it gives meaning to my breast cancer diagnosis. i cannot take away all of the pain and fear but just to make a little bit of a difference, to me, that's huge.

>> and while it started out as an organization for latina women she now helps all underserved women .

>> you wonder what those women were doing without her.

>> that's terrific.

>> yeah.

>> a lot of hospitals don't have translators on staff.

>> that should be changed. that's