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Grantee Spotlight: ACCESS- Learning, Sharing and Saving lives in an Immigrant Community

Laila Rahal, a 60 year old Arab American woman based in Dearborn, Michigan was without insurance; after she attended a presentation at the Mosque held with one of our health educators, she started to check her breasts and felt a small lump in her left breast. The single mother to two sons was worried about how she would take care of her teenage sons and her ailing mother, but she knew something wasn't right.
She immediately called ACCESS, a community-based health organization that provides culturally relevant health services to clients of Arab descent, to talk to a doctor about her concerns. ACCESS immediately enrolled Laila in a free mammography program funded by the NFL/American Cancer Society Crucial Catch grant to provide her with a mammogram at a local hospital. The Mammogram was inconclusive, but provided enough information for ACCESS to then enroll Laila in Michigan's Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP) for a biopsy and follow up care.
The biopsy showed stage 1 breast cancer. A few weeks later she had a single mastectomy followed by chemotherapy.
Today, Laila is doing well, feeling well and healing. She tells anyone that will listen, that without ACCESS and the grant provided by Avon she doesn't know where she'd be of how she would have paid for a mammogram. She especially an advocate in her community of Dearborn, an area with a large number of Arab immigrants, many of whom still believe cancer is something you don't talk about or share.

A Grantee's Perspective

Chenango Health Network has received grant funding from the NYS Avon Breast Health Outreach Program for many years. AVON BHOP support has enabled our agency to conduct our Every Woman Counts in Chenango County Campaign, which motivates, encourages and supports hundreds of women who live in this rural upstate county to be screened for breast cancer and receive necessary treatment and support. Read More