As she entered the La Peñita RV Park’s Clubhouse, location of the bright pink curtained dressing rooms, she peered over the top of her glasses, timidly greeting us with a wave and a smile. I responded with, “Bienvenidos… eres la primera (welcome… you are the first).” The nine dressing rooms were quickly filled with weary, anxious but hope-filled ladies, who had been looking forward to this clinic for many months. I do not know her story, or all the efforts put forth to be here on opening day, but chances are she boarded a bus somewhere in the middle of the night, same as the majority of the other 424 attendees, in order to be here by 7:30am. Welcome to Cancer de Mama Clinic, an oasis of hope for survivors of breast cancer.
The yearly Cancer de Mama Clinic (Breast Cancer Clinic) took place over three days, January 31-February 2, at the La Peñita RV Park in La Peñita, Nayarit, Mexico. The women who attended received prostheses, prosthetic bras and if needed or desired a wig, head coverings and make-up. These products are difficult to acquire in Mexico, reserved mostly for the wealthy. The women were greeted with coffee and cookies, plus a bowl of the most delicious chicken soup at lunch. While they were waiting to be fitted, they were entertained by Marion, with songs sung in Spanish, French, English and Hebrew; Brian kept the ladies laughing with his continuous costume changes, coaxing the women to join in the Chicken Dance. Bingo Games and other activities helped pass the time, as the women waited for their bras to be returned from the Sewers, where prosthetic sleeves were added.
The Clinic would not be a reality without its volunteers. This year’s clinic had more than 150 volunteers; volunteers served as Fitters, Runners, Sewers, Pinners, Translators, Hair Stylists, Kitchen Help, Drivers… the lists goes on and on. There are people who work year-round to make this happen, from crocheting “tit-bit” style prostheses to acquiring and transporting donations. I volunteered once again as a translator, and Jeff worked as “the official tortilla roller” in the kitchen.
If you would like to read more about the Clinic or make a financial donation, please look at our website, www.cancerdemamaclinic.com
“El don que Dios les dio a todos ustedes es el de ayudar al projimo. Gracias los amo.” / “God gave you the gift to help your sisters. Thank you; I love you.”
– Isabel Cortez Ibarria, Breast Cancer Survivor
by Jeff and Holly Trujillo
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