Each minute, a woman dies from breast cancer somewhere in the world. The first and most important tool a woman needs to have to win a fight against this disease is the education to identify breast cancer symptoms as early as possible. Laini Fluellen Charities, Inc. (LFC) is an organization dedicated to aiding women in the fight of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a highly aggressive form of breast cancer that characteristically affects young women, has fewer treatment options, and results in lower survival rates overall. Laini Fluellen combats TNBC by representing those most disproportionally affected: young African American and Hispanic women. LCF leads the fight by promoting awareness through education and funding further research for a cure. TNBC is two times as likely to likely to be found in African American women, which also contributes greatly to survival disparities. Similarly, nearly 40% of African American and Hispanic women diagnosed with breast cancer are diagnosed with TNBC, in comparison to 15% of women from other ethnic groups. Most startlingly, African American women have a 42% higher rate of death than from breast cancer then women in other ethnic groups. This makes the already impossible statistics cited above even more dire, and yet still, all of the difficulties faced by women vulnerable to TNBC have not been illustrated. Laini Fluellen Charities have been raising funds to further research about these facts, and develop more treatment options for TNBC. LFC has been providing spiritual and educational support through seminars, awareness campaigns, and website resources, and facilitating care coordination and navigation services for women at high risk for developing breast cancer since 2009; directly serving northwest Indiana and our PNW community. LFC works tirelessly to aid all women in combating TNBC, and places a special focus on improving health outcomes for Hispanic and African American women and working against racial disproportions. This reflection details my experience helping LFC further their work in aiding research, writing grants for the cause, and putting on their first virtual TNBC awareness fundraiser gala, with a special focus on the efforts we completed together to work with Know your Lemons (KYL). KYL is a global breast health network offering resources for a cure. By working together, we have been able to help others overcome the fear associated with breast cancer, and teach in impactful ways that are completely inclusive of gender, age, ethnicity, and background. The reflection illustrates how this work has empowered the educators, students, and the community.
"Laini Fluellen Charities and Know Your Lemons: Squeezing Out Breast Cancer and Winning the Fight,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 8
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol8/iss1/11