Coalition that helps Hispanic women fighting breast cancer to close

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On November 30, 2018, the Coalition of Hispanic Women Against Cancer in Kansas City, Kansas is closing. 

For 18 years, the group provided Hispanic and Latino women with breast cancer and cervical cancer awareness, screening and treatment options. More than 200 women a month were served by the organization.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Hispanic women. Board members said they agonized for months, researching the numbers, options for their clients, and their funding challenges and decided to close.

Susan Garrett is a board member on the Coalition.

“It has been a really tough decision to make one that was by no means made lightly,” Garrett said.

The Coalition is working with other organizations and clinics to provide the same services for their clients.

“And this is, overall, a positive for the community, in that there are now resources that exist in the community for Latino women in terms of breast and cervical cancer screening and other things that didn't exist before."

Carmen Vasquez is a Stage 4 Breast Cancer Survivor living in Kansas City, Kansas. She said she was misdiagnosed for months because of her language barrier. Through an interpreter, Carmen explained that she turned to the Coalition of Hispanic Women Against Cancer, for help and then became a volunteer to empower her friends and neighbors. 

Every three weeks, for the rest of her life, Carmen will get cancer treatments. She said she feels good and life is back to normal. She said, even though the Coalition is closing, she will continue volunteering.

“I’m very, very sad the Coalition is closing. I would like to look for another organization and help other people because when you start with cancer, diagnosed with cancer, you have many questions,” Carmen said.

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