From Breast Cancer Survivor to Fighting for MRI Sreenings for Uninsured Women and Those Without Financial Flexibility
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Breast cancer at age 36 was my lemon. Helping to ensure that even those without the financial means get the proper screening to detect breast cancer is my passion and my lemonade.
There’s this need and this desire to make every single day count now. I used to say… ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff — not even the big stuff.’ At the end of the day, none of it matters but your own joy, your own spiritual journey that you go on, God, your loved ones, your friends, your animals. These are the things you’ve got to cherish and love and embrace.
Today, more than 250,000 women under the age of 40 in the U.S. are breast cancer survivors.
I am lucky to be one of them. As a survivor, I am steadfastly committed to helping women access the information and tests they need to beat this disease. That is why I founded Right Action for Women.
My mother is also a breast cancer survivor. I underwent genetic testing and learned I have a mutation in the BRCA 1 gene, making me more susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer. A family history of breast or ovarian cancer on either side of a family (Mother’s or Father’s side) can put someone at higher risk for developing the disease. Because of this, my doctor ordered a variety of screening tests that try to detect cancer in its earliest stages (when it is most treatable). One of these tests was a breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, and it saved my life.
MRI is one of the breast screening tests recommended by the American Cancer Society for women at increased risk for breast cancer (MRI is not recommended as a screening tool for women at average risk for breast cancer). Unfortunately though, this service is not always covered by insurance and many women across the country cannot afford the high costs of a breast MRI. I hope, through Right Action for Women, we can continue providing assistance to those individuals who are at increased risk for breast cancer and do not have insurance or the financial flexibility to cover the high costs associated with breast screenings. The unfortunate reality is that many women face a financial barrier to access appropriate screenings.
Right Action for Women is committed to helping women access the information and advanced screening tests they need to beat this disease and to stay healthy. Educate yourself, know your family history and talk to your healthcare provider about your risk for cancer at your next visit.
Please join Right Action for Women. Together we can help give all women a chance to live healthy and happy lives.
ABOUT RIGHT ACTION FOR WOMEN:
Right Action for Women provides assistance to women who are at increased risk for breast cancer and do not have insurance or the financial flexibility to cover the high costs associated with breast screenings.
In 2008, after receiving her breast cancer diagnosis, Applegate created the foundation to educate women about what it means to be at “high risk” for breast cancer and encourage them to talk to their doctors about appropriate screening. Right Action for Women provides aid to individuals who are at increased risk for breast cancer and do not have insurance or the financial flexibility to cover the high costs associated with breast screenings.
To make the Right Action for Women program a reality, Christina partnered with the Cancer Support Community to bring together thought-leaders in the field of genetics, oncology, psychology, nutrition, legal aid, advocacy and patient financial assistance to lend their expertise and advice on online education, financial assistance and advocacy. This group became Right Action for Women’s Advisory Council.
Today, Right Action for Women has already assisted hundreds of women with the high cost of MRI screening, and it continues to provide support and education to women everywhere to better understand what increased risk means.