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Coronavirus doesn't deter work of Susan G. Komen Florida

Susan G. Komen Florida screening for breast cancer
Posted at 4:21 PM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 16:21:45-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As coronavirus cases continue to climb in South Florida, employees at Susan G. Komen Florida said the need for their work has never been greater.

For Suzanne, who didn't want to give her last name, her breast cancer diagnosis was something for which she wasn't ready.

"Unfortunately, I was one of those women who procrastinated," she said.

By November, she had stage 3 breast cancer.

"When you don't have insurance, it's a very scary time when you're diagnosed," she said. "So I was scrambling, trying to find alternate resources. I'm an independent contractor, so I didn't really have a steady income."

A few months later, she was dealing with cancer and a pandemic.

"As a single woman, it was very difficult to deal with the hassle and the struggle and the coordinating of the care of cancer," she said.

That's where Michele Goldberg comes in to the picture. She's a nurse navigator at Bethesda Women's Health Center.

"Set up their appointment, get them pre-registered, do everything here so that the patient doesn't have to leave here wondering what the next step is," Goldberg said.

Goldberg said COVID-19 hasn't changed that. She wants people to know they are taking precautions to keep patients safe.

"Taking care of your health, getting screened, doing diagnostic imaging, biopsies, whatever, it's still very, very important," she said.

Kate Watt, the executive director of Susan G. Komen Florida, agrees. She said the phones are ringing non-stop.

"There's calls that we are getting from women and men who feel isolated," Watt said.

She said they are still offering treatment assistance and even food during this difficult time, but they too need help.

"Our biggest need right now is funding for our treatment assistance program," Watt said. "So when we get that call for help, we have the resources to help people who need it."