Grant to Provide Support to Minority and Low-Income Breast Cancer Patients

Susan G. Komen® Chicago recently awarded nearly $50,000 to Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center

Susan G. Komen® Chicago recently awarded nearly $50,000 to be used by Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center to benefit low-income and minority breast cancer patients.

The grant from Komen will fund psychosocial support for minority breast cancer patients, an initiative to provide financial assistance, counseling, support groups, education programs and wig-fitting to low-income, Latina and African American breast cancer patients. The project includes the hiring of a part-time bilingual breast cancer support specialist to conduct outreach and facilitate participation in the area’s only Spanish language psychosocial support programming.

“While cancer, particularly invasive breast cancer, is the leading cause of death in Kane County, disparities exist in breast cancer morbidity and mortality rates among ethnicities,” said Kelly Huggins, LCSW, program development and operations manager at Waterford Place. “Spanish-language education, counseling and support provided through this grant will ensure that more women of diverse race and ethnicity have access to high-quality supportive programs and services that can improve their quality of life.”

Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center offers free programs and services that complement medical treatment to anyone impacted by a cancer diagnosis, including patients, survivors, and caregivers. Programs and services include: support programs such as short-term counseling and support groups; complementary therapies such as oncology massage and oncology facials; wellness classes such as yoga, Tai Chi and cooking demonstration classes; stress management programs such as mindfulness and guided meditation; and seminars on topics like managing treatment-related side effects and advances in cancer treatment. Waterford Place also has the area’s largest wig boutique and salon and offers Simply Beautiful skin care and makeup classes. Waterford Place is funded entirely through philanthropy raised by Rush Copley Foundation through grants, donations and special events.

In targeting uninsured, underinsured, low-income breast cancer patients from racial or ethnic minorities in Kane and DuPage counties, the grant supports the hiring of a new bilingual support specialist who will focus efforts on outreach and navigation to ensure the psychosocial concerns of these women are addressed. The goal is for these women to engage in programming to reduce their cancer-related psychosocial distress.

Because many low-income patients are overwhelmed by the burden of medical expenses, the grant will provide up to $300 in financial assistance to 20 low-income patients to help meet daily or treatment-related expenses.

In addition, educational programs will be offered to African American and Hispanic women on topics such as managing treatment-related side effects, coping skills and stress management. This will include presentations at churches, health fairs and other cancer centers. The goal is to encourage the participation in these programs of at least 100 low-income or minority women by the end of the year-long grant period.

Komen Chicago is one of more than 80 local affiliates of the world’s largest breast cancer organization, working in communities across the country to meet the most critical needs. To help achieve Komen’s goal to reduce current breast cancer deaths by 50% in the U.S. by 2026, Komen affiliates fund innovative breast health projects that provide needed breast cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment services and support, including patient navigation, education, medical supplies and financial assistance.

“These institutions share Komen’s commitment and passion to helping everyone in the Chicago area receive proper detection and care, so we can eradicate breast cancer forever,” said Aminah Abdullah, Director of Community Programs for Komen Chicago. “These organizations play a significant role in their communities and can provide access to resources on a local basis. We believe these grassroots programs are a critical part of defeating breast cancer and helping enhance the quality of life for survivors and people living with metastatic breast cancer. We look forward to working together to help as many women and men as possible across the five-county region.”

About Susan G. Komen and Komen Chicago
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen has set a goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Komen was founded in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Komen Chicago has invested $18.2 million in community breast health programs in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties and has helped contribute to the more than $920 million invested globally in research. For more information, call 773-444-0061.

About Waterford Place
Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center is where help meets hope. Free of charge, programs and services are offered to anyone impacted by a cancer diagnosis regardless of where they receive treatment. The center’s warm environment invites participants to thrive while living with cancer by engaging in exercise and nutrition classes, meditation and art programs, informational workshops, support groups and salon and spa services. Waterford Place is a community program of Rush Copley Medical Center.

About Rush Copley
Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, IL, is a 210-bed hospital that serves the greater Fox Valley area. More than 500 physicians and 2,500 clinical and professional staff members provide advanced medicine and extraordinary care to patients. Rush Copley is part of Rush, an academic health system comprising Rush University Medical Center, Rush Copley Medical Center, Rush Oak Park Hospital and Rush University.

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