There are more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
And one of those courageous survivors is Jazmin Miranda.
But to get there, breast cancer was not the only challenge that Miranda would face. In fact, gaining affordable access to healthcare for the diagnosis and treatment of her breast cancer proved to be one of the most difficult hurdles of all.
“I found a mass in my breast and I called health department because I didn’t have health insurance. When the health department told me that I did not qualify for assistance from them, the lady I was speaking with told me to check with Florida Hospital because they might have a program that could help me.”
As it would turn out, this program saved Miranda’s life.
“I contacted someone at Florida Hospital and was connected to the Breast Cancer Care Fund at Florida Hospital Foundation, where I was taught how to follow all of the procedures to qualify for the charity, and she also helped me to schedule my mammogram right away,” recounts Miranda.
The Breast Cancer Care Fund (BCCF) was established to address the availability of diagnostic testing and treatment of breast cancer at the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute. For Miranda and many other women, BCCF offers hope for access to breast cancer diagnosis and treatment when there otherwise is none.
“When I went to my mammogram scheduled appointment everyone treated me so well; the entire team was so pleasant and nice. I have a strong belief in the Lord and was expecting negative results. It was a disappointment when I got the news that my results were positive, but I thanked God that, hopefully, we found it in time.”
And detecting breast cancer early through regular mammograms when it is most treatable helps lead to more cures. In fact, mammograms can show breast changes up to two years before they can be felt by a patient or physician. Finding breast cancer early with mammograms can help reduce the chances of the breast cancer advancing and the amount of treatment needed.
This is why Florida Hospital advocates for improving access to screening mammograms in the local community.
Funding the continuity of care that leads to breast cancer cures.
Miranda describes her experience:
“When my mammogram came out positive, I reached out to the Breast Cancer Care Fund again to get further testing with a biopsy and they scheduled me right away. When it was time for the biopsy, the doctor explained the entire procedure. It was a truly great experience.”
“When the results came back the doctor sat down with me and my husband. He said it was invasive and aggressive. From there, it all started. Florida Hospital helped me find an oncologist, radiation oncologist, surgeon – everything flowed the right way and most of my treatments and doctor appointments were covered through the charity.”
Miranda expresses her gratitude:
“It truly amazed me. Many women are not as fortunate as I was to find this program that helped me during my situation. Many women with breast cancer are not able to get the great treatment that I had because they don’t have insurance or the information they needed to continue with treatment.”
“I thank God that I found the right people at the right time for treatment. Every single doctor and person who helped me at Florida Hospital took great care of me, and the amazing thing is that I didn’t have insurance and they made me feel equal with the love and care they showed.”
A fund that helps women become survivors.
And through her four rounds of chemo, a hospitalization that lasted a week, surgery 20 rounds of radiation, Miranda expresses her relief when she finally finished her treatment in June of 2017.
“It was very emotional; I was glad, happy that I could finish everything and my scans were clean. I can say that I am a survivor. The Lord has taken care of me. Without him I would not have been able to go through all of this.”
Having faith in Florida Hospital.
Miranda says, “I am very happy and appreciative of how Florida Hospital has helped me.”
“I want people to know that Florida Hospital has a very good medical group — you can rely on Florida Hospital. I love the hospital. I loved the way they treated me and continue to treat me. The doctors, surgeons, specialists staff … everyone is helpful and compassionate. I feel like I have the best doctors.”
A new mission to inspire and support others as a breast cancer survivor.
Now on the other side of breast cancer, Miranda describes how the experience has changed and inspired her.
“Having breast cancer has changed me. I used to always support breast cancer, but when you have it yourself, you want to do more — I want to help others more; speak to people and be an inspiration to others, especially other women affected by breast cancer because I can relate,” says Miranda.
Miranda shares her message to other women who might need help:
“I want other women to also know that there is help out there even if you don’t have health insurance, and I want our community to know that you can help by supporting the organizations and coming together to help others like me.”
When you find out you have cancer and you don’t have insurance, now you have two things to worry about: the cancer and getting the care to treat it. I know we could do more so that others don’t have this concern.”
You can inspire more breast cancer survivors, too, by scheduling your mammogram, today.
To help women in the Central Florida community like Jazmin Miranda, consider donating to the Florida Hospital Breast Cancer Care Fund.