Diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer at age 32, Karol Contreras was already scared and unsettled.
The thought of discussing her condition and treatment with doctors only added to her anxiety. Contreras grew up in Honduras; her English is limited.
An acquaintance connected her with Nueva VIDA, a nonprofit that provided a bilingual mentor to accompany her to appointments at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. Nueva Vida — Spanish for New Life — provides “culturally sensitive” cancer support services for Latino families in the Baltimore, Washington and Richmond, Va., areas.
“She made me feel more comfortable,” Contreras said through an interpreter....