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Breast Cancer

‘I’m doing something for somebody that needs it’: Borderland woman makes bracelets to raise awareness for breast cancer

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- One Borderland woman is making it her mission to educate others about breast cancer. Although she's never had the disease, she's been deeply impacted by it. Her mother, and each of her sisters, have. For years, she has been making pink crystal bracelets to raise awareness about breast cancer.

"I give them out to anybody," Rosa Maria Torrijos said, "at the parking spaces and the grocery stores, to the people that do fundraisers."

She hopes her bracelets can remind community members of the importance of early detection.

"It's a reminder that they need to be aware, even if they are survivors," Torrijos said. "They need to keep testing and they need to be aware of their body. If they do find anything, do something about it. Do not wait."

Torrijos's son said the meaning goes deeper and the mission is more personal.

"She's not a breast cancer survivor, every one of her sisters has been struck by the disease," said Marco Antonio Hidalgo. "She lost her mother. She lost several sisters to breast cancer, so she's a fighter."

"What she enjoys doing most is making jewelry. In the month of October, she sets out to make as many bracelets and hand those out to as many people as she can," Hidalgo said.

Each bracelets takes Torrijos 10 minutes to make, but the impact can last much longer.

"When someone sees somebody in their group of friends or their social circle wearing a bracelet, it prompts the question as to why are they wearing that," Hidalgo said.

The conversations the bracelets spark could save lives. Last year, Torrijos made 70 of them. She's been doing this for ten years.

"It makes me feel like I'm doing something for somebody that needs it," Torrijos said. "I think maybe it's made them happy even for a little while, made them forget about their problems even for a minute."

The project is just as meaningful for Torrijos as it is for those she's doing it for.

"My mother was a very giving person. She always liked to help people," Torrijos said. "I think they would make her happy. I think it would make her happy to know that I'm doing this."

Torrijos said that those who want to be involved can keep the project going by making bracelets of their own, and continuing to spread the message of the importance of early detection.

El Paso / Health / News / Video

Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.

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