October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and for Comadre a Comadre, a program housed in The University of New Mexico’s College of Education, the month holds significant meaning.

Comadre’s mission is to empower the lives of women through advocacy, support, education, navigation, resources and research for breast health and breast cancer. The holistic program, created more than 15 years ago, embodies the strong nature of Hispanic / Latino cultural coping practices and weaves those practices into the fabric of the program through prayer, and family support from Peer Patient Navigators, who guide patients through the many challenges faced by Hispanic / Latina women in their fight against breast cancer.

Peer Patient Navigators from Comadre a Comadre are breast cancer survivors who are trained in navigation and in providing emotional support from someone who "has been there." The Program staff and volunteers are bilingual and Hispanic/Latino and all our services provided at no cost and in both Spanish and English.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, UNM’s Comadre a Comadre will conduct Breast Health Platíca classes, funded in part through a recent $25,000 grant from the Prevent Cancer Foundation (PCF), at a variety of locations. The grant marks the second consecutive year that UNM’s Comadre a Comadre program has received this competitive grant from the PCF enabling the program to extend its reach. It will also enable assistance for breast cancer survivors with gasoline and Visa gift cards along with navigation support.

“BHP is a key project under the Comadre a Comadre Program, which exemplifies its multi-level community-engaged approach to increasing the early detection of breast cancer,” said Elba Saavedra Ferrer, principal investigator and faculty member in the College of Education’s Health Education Program (HESS). “The classes are implemented by peer educators, who are breast cancer survivors and trained to teach the classes. The Project is community-based and engages faith-based, institutions, businesses, community-based organizations, medical facilities to partner in the project implementation.”

The classes, which begin this Saturday, Oct. 5 from 10 to 11:15 a.m. at the Mexican Consulate located at 1610 4th Street, NW in Albuquerque. More than 20 classes will be held at various locations throughout the city including churches, schools and organizations. For a complete schedule, visit Breast Health Platíca classes.


Program Support
In support of UNM’s Comadre a Comadre program, artist, author and speaker Simón Silva created an original artwork titled “Amor” for UNM’s Comadre a Comadre program. He has donated the painting with the intent of having it raffled with all proceeds going to support the program’s activities. 

Raffle tickets for a chance to own this original artwork are available for $25. Additionally, a limited number of signed prints are available for purchase for $300. For more information and to buy raffle tickets or a print, visit the Comadre website. The raffle is scheduled for March 1, 2020.

Additional events during Breast Cancer Awareness Month include:

Girls’ Night Out Masquerade on Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Sandia Resort and Casino – Sponsored by Lovelace Women’s Hospital, this event includes free pampering activities, shopping, a Macy’s Fashion show, breast cancer support, women’s health education and more. To RSVP, call 505.898.3030 or visit Lovelace Girls Night Out to register. Admission is free.

Women’s Cancers Symposium and Vendor Fair on Oct. 18-19 The UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, in collaboration with the Gynecological Cancer Awareness Project, are proud to present the Inaugural Women’s Cancers Symposium. This two-day symposium brings together distinguished faculty from UNM, the University of Colorado and other institutions to focus on the medical management of common and important challenges that face health-care professionals who care for women with cancer.

Day 1: Women’s Cancers Film Festival, Friday, Oct. 18, 10 a.m. – UNM’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, in collaboration with the Gynecological Cancer Awareness Project, presents the inaugural Women’s Cancers Film Festival featuring two films, One Year Later and Life Interrupted, involving the survival of a cancer diagnosis and a survivor’s perspective. A discussion will be held after each film with the producers. The Festival is free, but an RSVP is required to attend either film due to space limitations. Lunch will be provided. To register and a schedule, visit Women’s Cancer Film Festival.

Day 2: Women's Cancers Symposium, Saturday, Oct. 19, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Doubletree Hotel, 201 Marquette, NW. The multispecialty approach allows participants to explore survivorship issues and cutting-edge treatment options for various areas of breast and gynecological cancer patient care in a concise symposium format.  To register, visit Women’s Cancers Symposium.

Please follow Comadre a Comadre on Facebook for regular program updates.

For more information about breast cancer, visit Breast Cancer Awareness Month.