DIA DE LAS MADRES
The Story of the First Día de las Madres
By Flor de Maria Navas Jones
May 10th 2006
In 2004 our family was struck with the devastating news that my sister-in-law had been diagnosed with breast cancer. We were blessed with the opportunity to provide her with the best care available. After the painful surgical procedure, chemotherapy and radiation, we received the good news that she beat it and was in remission.
That was when she came to Tyler to visit me and we began the second part of Therapy, which involved Prosthesis and the time she needed to feel human again. While she was here, we began researching Breast Cancer. We encountered a brick wall, there were no agencies available and or literacy’s dedicated to woman’s health printed in Spanish.
We had a unique circumstance which I was able to provide my sister with interpretation, at the same time I contemplated, what about other Hispanic woman who don’t speak English, or have any clue how this system works. I felt it my responsibility to do something, anything.
After I spent the needed time taking care of my sisters concerns, I turned my focus to the Hispanic Women in my area. My partner, Carolyn Howell, and I approached Dr. John English at Bethesda Clinic in Tyler with the idea of creating an event that could educate the Hispanic women in and around the Tyler area on Women’s health. We started planning the event in November of 2005, and felt that Dia De las Madres, Mothers Day in Latin America, was the optimum time to hold the event. We wanted to give the women in my community the opportunity to learn not only about cancer but also about prevention.
In the planning stages we realized we could incorporate other social services in the community that could benefit families as a whole. We knew it was going to be a challenge; we were targeting women that had young children, no transportation and spoke little to no English. We were blessed with a group of donors and volunteers that were up to the task.
All of the above problems were solved including volunteers to care for the young children while their mothers received the attention needed. Even though I personally could not do much for Albita (my sister-in-law) God used me and many others to accomplish something that had never been done in East Texas. I am well aware that my voice is only that, a voice, but when supported by good people it became a loud shout. We, together, were able to encourage Hispanic Women to learn about their bodies and knowledge is something they will take and share throughout their lives. They will share this information with their mothers, sisters, daughters and friends.
DATE OF EVENT
TIME OF EVENT
Start Time: End Time:
ADDRESS OF EVENT
Bethesda Health Clinic
409 W. Ferguson St.
Tyler, TX 75701
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Parking will be available across the street, facing the clinic. Interpreters will be available.