Education is key, especially as it relates to a disease as prevalent as breast cancer. Yet in today’s difficult economy with so many who are unemployed and uninsured/underinsured, health takes a back seat to everyday existence. That attitude is in danger of spreading to the young women of uninsured and/or immigrant families. The mission of A Silver Lining Foundation’s Keep aBreast program is to raise awareness of the all-important components of breast health education and early detection – young women ages 15-19 learning to be advocates for their own health and, in turn, becoming educational and cultural conduits in their homes and communities.
A multimedia hands on presentation conducted by a trained survivor familiar with the circumstances of each location, Keep aBreast offers the basics on breast health education: an age appropriate video utilizing real people as opposed to cartoons, instruction in proper breast self- examination, breast models to identify possible lesions and – most importantly- a facilitator who creates an environment that facilitates freewheeling dialogue. Additionally, young women fill out a survey and are asked about the presentation, what they have learned and what they feel would be helpful to add.
The Washington Square Health Foundation grant has enabled A Silver Lining Foundation to bring breast cancer awareness and proper breast health instruction to young women who may otherwise not receive information until they are 40. Although the design of the program originally was twofold: to teach young women to be advocates for their own health and to become breast cancer advocates in their homes and community there has been an unexpected yet welcome additional outcome: adult women, through talking to young women and word of mouth of the program, are now requesting presentations. Truly a silver lining. For more information, please visit: www.asilverliningfoundation.org