FIGHTING BACK: Pink Impact Program offers breast cancer help


It’s well-known that for many families financial resources are stretched thin.

They are often one illness or accident away from having to make very difficult decisions.

Now Michigan State University is offering help for people in the fight against breast cancer.

The Pink Impact Program at MSU  is  providing breast services, such as mammograms or clinical breast exams, to women and men without insurance or high deductibles.

The Pink team is a combined effort between the college of Nursing at MSU and the MSU Department of Surgery in the  College of Human Medicine.  

It’s funded through a grant from Susan G. Komen Michigan.

And it’s making a difference.

One local woman talked with 6 News and she says the Pink Impact Team has changed her life for the better and now she wants all women to know about it.
Luci Solis simply says “I am a survivor, I credit that to Susan G Komen. I am 100-percent for them.”

Luci is a fierce advocate for MSU”s Pink Impact Program.

“I would never guess that  I would be fortunate enough to be sitting here sharing my story, getting help I received that changed my life.  Changing my lifestyle, and having the opportunity to reach out to the people who are like me,  connect with them.  And I’m very grateful to do that.”

Luci will never forget the day she felt her world come crashing down.

“You are just numb.  I have a son in college, do I put dollars to health care for myself or do I take care of my children.   The worst possible thoughts go through your mind when you hear breast cancer.”

She was worried because she had a high insurance deductible of 10,000, so she was shying away from treatment.  But when MSU’s Pink Impact Patient Advocate called Luci, it was like a huge burden was lifted off her. 

“The Pink team is phenomenal. I am so glad to be a part of it.  We educate communities reach out to the Latino community, as well.  Under privileged, as well. I was one of them. I went without a lot.  I know what it’s like to feel like people don’t want to help you.  That you are just a statistic so it’s important that Pink Impact is out there! “
MSU’s Pink Impact Team helps calm breast cancer patients fears and concerns.

Mary Smania,.RN Assistant Professor, Health Programs, explains, “From my perspective, being a nurse, I want to help them with education and early detection.  And making sure women are aware.   Information and access to care are key, to raise awareness if there is a problem, have it addressed earlier the better.”  
“Pink impact cares about everybody,” says Luci.  “They don’t treat anybody any differently.”

“We partner with our patients who want to tell their story,” adds Smania. “Who want to help us reach that group of women who feel disenfranchised or are not comfortable accessing the health care system or aren’t aware of what’s available.”   

Luci sums up experience. “Susan G. Komen is one of the best things that has happened to me. if I hadn’t received the grant I may have never known or properly been diagnosed and could of had a worse outcome like malignancy? I’m just so grateful for the grant and that I didn’t have to go on living life scared,  not knowing with a consistent worry.”

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