EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- El Pasoan Gloria Sanchez was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer following a screening in January 2022. She was one of several breast cancer warriors honored at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso's Lighting Campus for Hope event Friday.
"If it wasn’t for the screening, my cancer would have grown. And if it keeps growing it's going to be a harder fight. It's still going to be a fight, but I am able to fight back before it grows," Sanchez said. "So, it's always easier and it's best for you to take care of yourself and every year make sure you screen yourself, do your self-exams, and be ready."
Sanchez and the other warriors were honored at the free event alongside what the university is calling a significant achievement; $67,750 raised since October -- money dedicated to providing 366 free breast cancer screenings for underserved women in the Borderplex community.
People at the event were also able to help to support screenings through a 'scan-to-give' option. Every $185 raised will pay for one mammogram, and additional contributions will fund follow-up diagnostic exams, according to the university.
"In supporting our community's health, we've come together to make a real impact. The successful fundraiser for breast cancer screenings reflects the heart of TTUHSC El Paso, where compassion meets action,” said Dr. Andrea Tawney, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at TTUHSC El Paso. “As we close this chapter of giving, we also mark the end of our university's 10-year anniversary. A decade of growth, learning and making a difference. Here's to the power of unity and a future filled with continued impact and shared successes."
According to TTUHSC, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women in the region. Officials said early detection is crucial in fighting breast cancer -- The CDC reports that an early diagnosis of the cancer will improve chance of survival for five years by 99%.
TTUHSC said it will promote free mammograms and screenings to the local community. More information is available on its website.