Between Women raises funds to educate about breast cancer self-screening
FROM LEFT: Breast cancer survivors Rita S. Cortez, a 10-year survivor; Sylvia Huber, five-year survivor, Rebeca Haro, three-year survivor, and Rachel Noriega, 10-year survivor, dish up steak dinners at the Between Women fund-raiser Sunday at Hacienda Market in Brawley. (Elizabeth Varin Photo)
The Brawley resident picked up two plates full of steak, potatoes, bread, salad and a cookie to top it off. However, that wasn’t the reason Rodriguez came out Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a good cause, and we always helped out with them.”
Between Women — a local organization to help women of the Imperial Valley live longer through patient advocacy, education and the early detection of breast cancer — held its second steak dinner fundraiser at Hacienda Market here.
This year’s fundraiser will match funds that Avon Foundation for Women awarded the local organization to support breast cancer education.
The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program awarded a one-year $20,900 grant for Between Women’s Parity, Mammography Outreach Program, which works to educate Imperial County women and refer women for low-cost or free mammograms and clinical breast exams. The program is to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer.
“I love it,” said Linda Cady, executive director for Between Women Inc. “I just love doing this program.”
Women need to learn more about breast cancer and monthly self-examinations, she said.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the U.S., and the leading single cause of death overall in women between the age of 40 and 55. An anticipated 43,000 new cases of breast cancer will be detected in California this year, according to the American Cancer Society.
Early detection gives women the best chance of surviving, Cady said. The program helps get education and action to the Imperial Valley residents.
Cady herself knows the impact that breast cancer can have. She’s a 16-year survivor.
Other breast cancer survivors were also out volunteering, filling up containers of food to hand out.
Rita S. Cortez, a 10-year survivor from Brawley, along with others, volunteers to teach women how to do early breast cancer detection. Since the program started it has gotten better in the Valley because the group takes the education out into the community. There’s still work to be done though.
The fundraiser Sunday is expected to raise about $1,200.
There was a good number of people coming by to pick up food, said Claudia Uribe, 18, who was volunteering Sunday.
She’s been volunteering with Between Women’s teen program for two years, including running containers of food out to waiting cars Sunday. She started working with the group after hearing Cady’s story. It was inspirational, she said.
She helps get information out to teens about breast cancer self-exams.
“It’s never too early to start checking,” she said.
Staff Writer Elizabeth Varin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-337-3441.