Throughout December we will be publishing stories of how we got started, how we’ve grown, and what we’ve accomplished over the last 20 years. All because the people of Central Texas – YOU – made improving the lives of women with breast cancer a priority.
Twenty years ago, healthcare for the less fortunate in Austin was provided at Brackenridge – the local “safety net” hospital. Treatment for breast cancer was provided once a week, and fees were based on the ability to pay. On any given Monday, up to 25 women would wait to be seen by the doctors.
Almost all of these women spoke Spanish as a primary language. Many of them had little experience inside a hospital, were facing their first health crisis, and didn’t understand the language being spoken around them.
Right from the start, donors in the Austin community were committed to providing a Spanish-speaking navigator to meet the needs of low-income Latina women treated at Brackenridge. As women waited for their appointments, Jessica addressed their fears, answered their questions, and made sure they understood what would happen next. On a daily basis, she translated between doctors and patients, and checked in on those who were scheduled for surgery or who were receiving chemotherapy in the infusion room. For more than a decade, BCRC Navigator Jessica, has been the face of hope for thousands of women.
Serving Austin’s Latinas was only the beginning. In 2012, BCRC confronted the expanding needs of Latinas in Williamson County by hiring a second bilingual navigator, Elaine, to deliver services in Georgetown, Round Rock, and the areas north of Austin.
It quickly became apparent these women could also benefit from education that debunked myths and presented the facts about breast cancer.
Out of this reality, the BCRC Outreach Program was born and in the three years since it began, BCRC has educated nearly 1,000 women about breast cancer.
In conclusion, we’ve come a long way since the days of lining up outside of Brackenridge Hospital. And we have our donors to thank for this! Our donors are our power source – they are reason BCRC has been able to grow and expand to meet needs of our community’s most vulnerable populations. Thank you donors!
This holiday season we reflect on the simple reality that BCRC would not exist if it weren’t for the generosity of those who give each year. The power of your giving is REAL and it affects real women right here in the Greater Austin area.
As the year end approaches, consider opening your heart and making a generous donation to ensure our community has a dedicated place of hope for the next 20 years. We promise you’ll be making a difference that counts. Give today.