Navigating women to healthier lives

May 3, 2017

By Ann Mallari

Dorys and a Celebremos participant during a recent Celebremos educational activity

Meet Dorys Lizama, a passionate patient navigator for the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s ¡Celebremos la Vida! (Let’s Celebrate Life!) program. Celebremos is a culturally-appropriate breast and cervical cancer education and screening program for underserved Latina women ages 40 and older in the D.C. metropolitan area. The program encourages women to get yearly check-ups, eat healthy, move more and spread the message of cancer prevention and early detection to women in their families and communities.

For the past five years, Dorys has been the embodiment of the Celebremos program for women in the D.C. metro area, going above and beyond her required responsibilities to make sure that every woman is taken care of. She sends appointment reminders by personal text message and visits cancer patients in the hospital. She also works to reduce the personal and social burden of obesity and related chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

One patient shared how meaningful the program was to her:

“Tú eres la persona más importante en tu vida. El aprender a vivir saludable es la joya más valiosa que te puedes regalar.”

“You are the most important person in your life. Learning to live healthy is the most valuable jewel you can give yourself.”

For Dorys, her work with Celebremos is not just about cancer screening—it is about navigating women and their families to healthier lives through healthy eating and active living.

“Breast cancer awareness [is a] part of my everyday life,” Dorys said. “As a patient navigator, I am aware that I will be touching and affecting someone’s life, and that life will also touch mine. My job gives me the opportunity to experience feelings of love, joy, peace and happiness because I enjoy what I do. ¡Celebremos la Vida! gives me the opportunity to do this with every patient I encounter.”

For more information on the ¡Celebremos la Vida! program or to find out how you can promote cancer prevention and screening, visit our website preventcancer.org.

Thank you to Susan G. Komen® and Genentech for providing funding for Celebremos.

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