PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Susan G. Komen Florida announced Thursday it is expanding its community breast health navigator program to anyone in Palm Beach County looking for guidance and support in their battle against breast cancer.
Kate Watt, Executive Director of Komen Florida, said the organization launched the navigator program in 2018 in Delray Beach for those in need and living below the poverty line.
Watt said thousands of women got breast health education and information. 59 of them had navigators guide them, and three of those women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Through their navigator, those patients got access to the care they needed.
"It's estimated that breast cancer deaths can be reduced by as much as a third if every woman and man had timely access to care. That is what we are doing," said Watt.
Watt added early diagnosis and navigation are key. Navigators will now be available to anyone in Palm Beach County facing a breast cancer diagnosis, or even before.
"Now we are bringing this program to every single woman in need regardless of their income, the community they live in, or race. There are no criteria," said Watt, who added men have access to the program as well.
Sophia Rose is now battling breast cancer, but with her navigator, Marie Seide, by her side.
Months ago, Rose felt a lump in her breast. Alone and with no one to help, she called Komen Florida, and they set her up with Marie to be her navigator.
"It was like a million dollars flowing in," Rose said. "She helped me through the terrifying time because when you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you are scared. You don’t know where to turn, who to talk to."
Rose said Seide is there to help guide her, as well as drive her to appointment and get her through treatment.
"Nobody will walk this walk alone. It makes me want to fight for my life," said Rose.
The navigators can provide a network of support and education. But most importantly for Rose, they provide comfort, encouragement, and a friend.
"She was like an angel," Rose said. "My life has changed. I used to cry everyday. She gave me the most encouraging words, she lift my spirits and make me feel I am going to be okay."
If you think a navigator could benefit you, call Komen Florida at 561-514-3020. You can visit their website by clicking here.