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Volunteer group is encouraging women of color to get their yearly mammograms

The organization Mujeres de Acción was born from a breast cancer diagnosis. Now, these volunteers are spreading the word in Northern San Luis Obispo County to get more Latinas to partake in early screenings.
Posted at 5:53 PM, Oct 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-11 20:31:07-05

María de los Ángeles Campoverde pours her heart into every single pink beanie she knits. This year she made 50.

Campoverde said she makes the beanies for women who lose their hair because of chemotherapy.

She is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed back in 2013.

Campoverde recalled her first reaction.

She said the word cancer at first made her feel as if it were a death sentence, but it became a motivation for her to fight.

Her daughter Yessenia Echevarría founded the grassroots group Mujeres de Acción, eight years ago to push for the importance of breast cancer screenings.

“As Hispanic women, we often play the role of supporting everyone but ourselves,” said Echevarría.

Ver esta noticia en español:

Grupo de voluntarios motivan a mujeres de color recibir una mamografía cada año

According to a 2021 report by the American Cancer Society, breast cancer mortality rates and incidence are 30% lower among Hispanic women than compared to white women.

However, in 2018 they found that in women 45 years of age and older, the prevalence of an up-to-date mammogram is 64% in non-Hispanic white women compared to 60% in Hispanic women.

“What ends up happening especially in the Hispanic community is, unfortunately, women then get diagnosed with cancer maybe at a stage 2, stage 3,” said Echevarría.

Twin Cities Community Hospital’s Chief of Staff Dr. Michelle Ribas reminds women to not only get their yearly tests but to also listen to their bodies.

“Any kind of bumps and masses, discoloration in the breast or increase in pain," said Dr. Ribas.

Mujeres de Acción is all about sisterhood.

“That they do have a support system that will be there to help them whether it’s connecting them to resources, whether it’s to advocate for them, whether it’s to find them to the right organization, the right nonprofit to make sure they are getting the services that they need,” added Echevarría.

Mujeres de Acción is hosting its 8th annual fundraiser gala on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, at 5:30 pm.

It will take place at Saint Williams Church, which is located at 6410 Santa Lucia Road, Atascadero, CA.

With the funds raised, organizers are hoping to donate a wig and financially support a woman facing breast cancer.

Tickets are $25.