NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Helping the under-served and uninsured women of New York is at the forefront of Komen Greater New York’s mission.
As CBS2’s Dana Tyler reported, Long Island Jewish Medical Center’s ambassadors program is saving lives in low-income communities in Queens and Nassau counties.
The program is fighting to reduce breast cancer mortalities through education, free screenings, and treatment.
And a grant from Komen helped them grow exponentially, Tyler reported.
“We were looking for that magic connection that’s going to help us bring our patients in and give them the information that they need, hearing it from people that they trust,” said Jill Maura Rabin, Co-Chief of the Division of Ambulatory Care for OBGYN for North Shore LIJ Health System.
In 2012, Ann Stephens received the news of the Komen grant for the ambassador program.
“I’m only one person, but if each of you would touch one person, look how many people we would meet,” she said.
The grant is allowing Stephens to continue her life-saving work where she lives.
“We do education and hope that the education will save lives,” she said.
Sophia Franklyn is a breast cancer survivor who met Stephens in 1999 at a breast cancer survivor’s workshop. Franklyn now uses her knowledge to help others and has been an ambassador since 2013.
“It means a great deal to me because as a cancer survivor I went through it, I dealt with everything, so now I’m here, I can help, and not that I can, I should,” she said. “I have the right to, I’m supposed to help because somebody helped me, so it’s my turn now to help someone else.”
The program is saving lives, Tyler reported. A year ago, Debra Smith, of Queens, was diagnosed with breast cancer and got all tests and treatment for free.
“It’s just a blessing to be alive you know. You fight so hard for life; you don’t realize how precious it is until you’re going to lose it,” she said. “And I’m just so thankful that God gave me the strength to make it and to stay positive because if you stay positive, anything is possible.”
The Komen Race for the Cure is being held on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 9 a.m. in Central Park.