by Susan Cotton, Chair of the Board
Last Wednesday it happened. “Lina,” a young mother of five came to a Lily health event with her mother and sister, and our team immediately knew she was a very sick woman. The smell of blood and body, her fragility and her family’s concern were intense. Anielka helped her to the exam table and peeled away the cloth Lina used to try and keep the blood from pouring out of her body. She told Anielka that she had been in pain for three years, lately so excruciating she couldn’t sleep at night, and that the bleeding just wouldn’t stop anymore. Fortunately, a doctor with MINSA was observing our event that day and worked with our team to get Lina to the closest hospital, a few hours away in Matagalpa, for further diagnosis and treatment for the pain; with a plan to move her to Bertha Calderon in Managua, another few hours away, but the one hospital in Nicaragua that treats women with cervical cancer.
We have known this day would come. Since our launch a little more than a year ago, The Lily Project has screened more than 2,600 women and treated more than 100 women for precancerous lesions. Five women with more advanced lesions have been referred to the hospital for further treatment. Given cervical cancer is the #1 cancer killer in Nicaragua, it is a certainty we will see women with cancer. And so we thought through a “process” to help each woman as best we can. But it is hard to prepare with your head for something that hits your heart.
Lina’s oldest child is 17 years old; the same age Anielka was when her mom Azucena (Lily in Spanish) died of cervical cancer. As many of you know, The Lily Project exists because Anielka watched cervical cancer devastate Azucena and is determined to keep other children from losing their mothers to this preventable disease. In this society, when you lose a mother, you often lose a family. Lina knows she is her children’s world, and is incredibly frightened to leave them without a mother to love and raise them. Especially her young son from her first husband who will lose both his mother and his home. Since bringing Lina to the hospital we have learned that her cancer has metastasized and is at stage IIIa or IVa and likely invaded her rectum as well. All of this is incomprehensible to Lina; Anielka is becoming her guide - explaining her cancer, her treatment options and preparing her for the chances of its success. Over the next couple of days her doctors will know more and Lina will decide either to go to Managua for treatment or back home to die with her children by her side.
In the meantime, The Lily Project has arranged for Lina’s children to come to Matagalpa to stay with their mom…and have a photograph taken of Lina with each child. Because one of Anielka’s most profound regrets is she does not have one picture of her and her mother together, we are making sure this same regret isn’t experienced by Lina’s children. They will have a picture they can carry into their futures that reminds them of just how much they are loved.
The Lily Project is proud to partner with innovative organizations to bring new technologies to solve the problem of delivering health services to women in the most rural villages of Nicaragua. We have invited one of our partners, M-HEAL (Michigan Health Engineered for All Lives), a student organization at the University of Michigan that fosters interdisciplinary work in global health, design, and entrepreneurship to talk about their project.
Guest Blogger, Sabrina Deutsch
Student, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Project MESA is a team comprised of University of Michigan students dedicated to exploring engineering initiatives focused at advancing maternal health, especially in developing areas. For the past five years, our team has been developing, testing, and gathering feedback on our mobile gynecological exam table prototypes. Our goal is to devise a model that meets the needs of our partner organizations, like The Lily Project, by designing a table that is lightweight, fully functional, and has potential to be manufactured in-country. We are ecstatic with the promise our meeting with The Lily Project brings to our future endeavors, given that our goals are so closely aligned. Ultimately, Project MESA would like to facilitate The Lily Project’s initiative of bringing women’s health to even the most remote of areas by incorporating the feedback we have received to best serve their specific needs. Having explored possible avenues of in-country manufacturing with Jonathan Butcher, The Lily Project's COO, while in Nicaragua this past May, we feel closer than ever to reaching this goal.
by Susan Cotton, Executive Chair
Did you know that February 4th was World Cancer Day? For those new (like me) to this day, it serves a very important purpose – to encourage each of us to remember the wonderful friends we have lost to cancer and take action to prevent its deadly diseases.
In Honor of The Women Who Inspire Our Work Every Day.
Executive Director Anielka Medina’s mother, Azucena, lived a life typical of women in Nicaragua’s impoverished rural communities. Her story, unfortunately, is one we hear repeatedly in Nicaragua. Married and a mother at the age of 16, she became the sole provider for her young family of seven children when her husband left them just ten years later. In late 2006, just after Anielka turned 16, her mother was stricken by sudden weight loss and severe pain. Too weak to continue working, she finally made her way to a hospital where she learned she had cervical cancer. Despite the immense courage Azucena showed in the face of the disease, she lost her excruciating battle to cervical cancer and died at the young age of 48 – just weeks before Anielka graduated from high school.
Two years ago, just after Christmas, I heard that Cindy Ruff, a cherished friend from our years in Tampa, died of cancer. I was heartbroken for her husband and two daughters – one in college and the other still in high school. I assumed she died from breast cancer, but her husband Tim wrote me later explaining how passionately and bravely she fought and lost her battle to cervical cancer. He shared that Cindy was diligent about getting her annual pap and results would always come back negative. By the time the cancer was detected, it had spread to her pelvic tissue and lymph nodes. She received excellent care and fought the cancer for two years with exhausting rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, but ultimately it spread and she died just days before her 55th birthday. Tim is helping to increase awareness of cervical cancer and HPV, the virus that causes the disease; and the new preventive measures including the HPV test and vaccine - "to keep Cindy’s fighting spirit and memory alive by spreading the word so no one has to endure what she did.”
The Lily Project: No Woman Should Lose Her Life To This Preventable Disease
Cancer affects all countries, but those with fewer resources are hit hardest. Nothing illustrates this better than the burden of cervical cancer. The world’s poorest countries are home to more than 8 in 10 women newly diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 9 in 10 deaths from the disease. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, Feb. 4th, 2015
We are proud that on World Cancer Day we are doing what we do most days – conducting a Lily health event in the rainforest of Nicaragua for some of the most vulnerable women in the world to screen for cervical cancer, treat women infected with precancerous lesions and educate women and girls about their reproductive health.
Today, we have the knowledge, experience and tools to protect every woman, everywhere. Comprehensive cervical cancer prevention includes vaccines to protect girls against future infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV), screening measures and preventive treatment of pre-cancers. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, Feb. 4th, 2015
This year we will join Tim and others in spreading the word about the risks of HPV through the work of The Lily Alliance – students and young adults in the US who host events to increase awareness in their communities, and in doing so raise money to provide health, hope and a brighter future for girls in Nicaragua.
Our Hope is You Make Cancer Prevention a Priority for YOUR Life
So what action can you take? It is well documented that most cancers are the result of external risk factors – environmental and behavioral – and can be prevented by proper screening and lifestyle changes. Here’s a link to an interactive cancer risk check developed by the MD Cancer Research Center at the University of Texas: http://bit.ly/1mgt2dv. Check it out!
by Susan Cotton, Executive Chair of the Board.
When I talk about The Lily Project and describe our early success in helping prevent cervical cancer in rural Nicaragua, people often assume we operate as a medical mission, with doctors and volunteers flying in to provide medical services for a couple of weeks at a time. I explain while we share some of the same measures of success, we are fundamentally different from that known model.
The Lily Project works to empower lasting improvements in the health and wellbeing of women and girls in rural communities where health-related issues are greatest. Nicaragua has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer mortality in the world both due to its inadequate health care system, with PAP screening available to less than 10% of women, and prevailing machista behaviors that propagate HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer. To resolve this inequity, The Lily Project must provide access to preventive care (a structural issue) and advocate change in sexual behaviors (a cultural issue). Social change this significant requires an understanding and appreciation of the environment, clear vision of the future, adaptive model that brings them together and ability to sustainably scale. The Lily Project will achieve its goals by first going deep, then going wide.
We are grateful to the Friends of Lily for making our inaugural year a great success. We have relied on their expertise and resources to build out our solutions, and their financial support to staff our first Lily health team and equip a mobile health clinic.
Lily Is Saving Lives.
The Lily Project hosted its inaugural health event in February in a small fishing village on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. When executive director and chief clinician Anielka Medina screened the women for cervical cancer using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), more than 10% had precancerous lesions and were treated immediately with cryotherapy. Julia, just 28 years old and a mother of four, had multiple high-grade lesions and needed to be referred to the hospital in Leon, many hours away, for treatment. Understandably Julia was terrified but after talking with Anielka, she agreed to go. The doctor found she had cancer, which had advanced to the point where she needed a life-saving hysterectomy. We checked in with Julia last month and are pleased to report Julia's recovery is going well. She asked Anielka to thank all of the Friends of Lily for making it possible to "mantenerme sana y con vida por el bien de mis hijos" (stay alive and healthy for the sake of her children).
Thanks to the Friends of Lily, Lily is on track meet its goal to screen 1,000 women in 2015.
# of Women Screened to date:
Eligible for treatment:
Lily is Empowering with Knowledge.
Shortly after we launched a curriculum to teach women about their reproductive system, we realized that we were hearing women describe their monthly menstruation as a ‘disease’ and despite having multiple children had no understanding of its relationship to fertility. With this new perspective, the Lily team introduced the “pulsera de poder” (power bracelet) as a tool for women and girls to better understand how their body works during their menstrual cycles.
· 3 educational sesions utilizing the power bracelet were held during school with girls in sixth grade. A total of 60 girls participated.
· 95% of the girls knew that the menstrual cycle was a normal part of how the women’s body works. 100% responded that they learned in school. The other 5% of the girls knew that the cycle was normal, but they considered it a disease.
· 100% of these girls have never talked to their parents about issues regarding their menstrual period, sexual health, contraception or family planning. All they know or have learned has been in school.
· 3 sessions with adult women utlizing the power bracelet were held during Lily Health Events. A total of 40 women participated.
· 90% thought that their menstrual period was a disease.
· 80% of these women did not know that menstruating was normal and 70% did not know they had one menstrual cycle each month.
· These same women are the mothers of girls who go to school. Since they did not have the opportunity to attend school, they do not have enough knowledge to teach their daughters and do not want to teach because they feel ashamed of their lack of knowledge.
News of Lily’s pretty “pulsera de poder” has traveled fast and draws women and girls to Lily Health Events. They come for the bracelet and leave empowered with knowledge about their bodies, and results of their cervical cancer screening plus treatment if necessary.
Lily is Engaging Communities
We are pleased to introduce our newest board member, Dr. Alvaro Garcia, Nicaragua’s leading expert in cervical cancer prevention. He believes sustainable solutions involve the entire community, especially men. Proof of this is in the results we are achieving through our collaboration with Enliven, a business incubator working with local cacao farmers in Nicaragua. As part of their experience with Enliven, farmers are being educated on the need for The Lily Project and asked to encourage their wives and others in the community to attend the events. Lily Health Events that have support from the men in the community are more successful than those where men are not involved. Dr. Garcia and The Lily Project board are working on a strategy to expand these types of collaborations and deepen our partnerships by offering sexual health education and tools specifically for men and boys.
All it takes is $10 to give a woman access to these life saving services
Lily’s model employs young Nicaraguans, recent university graduates with medical services degrees trained in lab analysis, pathology and epidemiology. This serves two purposes: to train and develop high-potential young graduates and launch them in careers; and to help achieve our cost-to-serve target of $10 per woman.
We couldn’t have achieved any of this without the Friends of Lily. Our 2016 goals are compelling – to introduce a 2nd Lily health team and screen more than 5,000 women by the end of the year. Please join the friends of Lily and bring health and hope to women who need it the most.
At our first event in Miramar, I met so many amazing women. Today, I want to dedicate my blog to a person who has taught me the value of life and has shown me why The Lily Project exists.
I'll call her Julia.
Most Lily events begin with many women just scouting out the project – curious about our team or our procedures; others arrive because a friend told them about the project or because they have a problem and they’ve come for the free advice.
Julia arrived as a curious girl. Just 28 years old, she was a mother of 4 children; she had her first child when she was just 16 years old. Now a housewife, she approached the event with some doubts about whether she would partake in the female health exam.
After participating in our lecture on sexual health and hearing us talk about how we may feel good, but we dont know what’s going on inside our bodies”, Julia decided to accept the free cervical exam we offer – the first PAP or cervical exam Julia had ever had.
When I performed the cervical exam (a visual inspection with acetic acid: VIA) on Julie, I immediately uncovered multiple high-grade lesions (NIC III+). While the Lily Team offers free cryotherapy treatment to our patients at the events to resolve most lesions, I knew right away that this patient was beyond the level that we could treat in the community. After discussing the situation with Julia, I referred her to the doctor in charge at the nearest health center in order to get a PAP completed and registered with the Department of Health. The PAP confirmed our result: Julia had a high-grade intraepithelial lesion (LIAG) a NIC III. Leveraging our relationship with the health department, the Lily Team immediately got an order approved at the hospital to perform a colposcopy biopsy.
In less than 3 days we had everything ready, but the hardest part for me was explaining the test results and the procedures to Julia. She was a strong woman, and I stared into her eyes as tears ran down her cheeks. She hugged me and told me she was not afraid for herself but for her children.
Despite the fear, Julia followed our advice and moved forward with the surgery. The oncology doctor discovered the cancer was aggressive and decided the best option was a hysterectomy. Julia accepted.
Eight months passed by and The Lily Project returned to Miramar to host another women’s health event and perform controls (check-ups) on the women who had received cryotherapy. To our surprise, one of the first faces we saw was Julia. She arrived early to thank us and tell us how happy she was that she attended our last event and made the decision to take the cervical exam. She said the exam changed her life. While the decision to move forward with the surgery was extremely difficult, the resolution of the problem brought her life and hope. Her smile beamed from her face as she enthusiastically told us everything that had happened since we last visited.
The reality for us is that people like Julia are the reason we launched The Lily Project. To see her smile, experience her hope and know she will live a healthy, happy, long life with her children makes every health event worth it.
by Anielka Medina, Executive Director
Originally published the 27th of August in the blog by A Path Appears.
My mother, Azucena Escoto, lived a life typical of women in Nicaragua’s impoverished rural communities. Married and a mother at the age of 16, she became the sole provider for her young family of seven children when my father left us just ten years later.
The town I grew up in, Mina El Limon, is built around a gold mine. The people who own the mine are wealthy, but like most of the people in the village, my mother earned less than $1 a day. Determined to give her children a chance to rise above a life of poverty, Azucena looked for work outside of our village and took a job in the capital city of Managua. The city is a three-hour bus ride from Mina El Limon, so Azucena decided to leave us in the care of my grandma while she worked in the city. My mom returned home for a couple of days every month – proudly handing over her monthly salary of $160.
Even though I was just a baby when she left and my life in Mina El Limon was easier because of Azucena’s hard work – I never stopped missing her. I was always planning for the day she would be back for good, and my dreams were filled with all of the things we would do together – just like other girls. In late 2006, when I turned 16, my mom finally returned home. However, it was not the joyful reunion we expected. Azucena was stricken by sudden weight loss and severe pain. Too weak to continue working, she finally made her way to a hospital where she learned she had cervical cancer. According to the diagnosis, the cancer was advanced, and she would have about a year left to live.
Azucena, realizing her family depended on her for survival, convinced the doctor to admit her to the country’s one public hospital that treats women with cervical cancer. As I was going through high school, I experienced her suffering as she struggled through painful episodes of chemotherapy. Now my dreams revolved around miracle treatments that would make her healthy again. Azucena returned to work but continued to decline and eventually was fired from her job. She went back to the hospital for another diagnosis and found out cancer had invaded her colon and stomach. Despite the immense courage Azucena showed in the face of the disease, she lost her battle to cervical cancer and died at the young age of 48 – just weeks before I graduated from high school.
After watching her torturous battle and death from cervical cancer, I began to dream about finding a way to keep more children from losing their mothers to this horrible disease. I earned a scholarship to the university determined to learn everything I could about cervical cancer and in 2013 graduated with a degree in clinical bioanalysis focused on epidemiology. Cervical cancer is a slow-growing cancer caused by HPV, the most common sexually transmitted infection. In the United States and other developed countries pre-cancerous cells are detected by PAP tests and easily treated. Death from cervical cancer is one of the greatest health inequities in the world – with 85% of deaths occurring in developing countries, which lack access to the most basic proactive health measures for women.
As I shared the knowledge that cervical cancer, a preventable disease, is the #1 cancer killer and a leading cause of death of women in Nicaragua, it was easy to enlist others to make this dream a reality. We launched The Lily Project in 2014, motivated by a simple belief: every person has a right to health. Named in honor of Azucena, Lily in English, we deploy a simple ‘screen and treat’ procedure endorsed by the WHO for low resource countries. The procedure is beautiful in its simplicity: a trained health technician swabs a women’s cervix with vinegar (acetic acid); infected cells, if any, become white, and cryotherapy is performed to freeze and destroy the abnormal tissue. Since the beginning of the year, we have worked in rural villages in Nicaragua, similar to where I grew up, screening over 600 women and providing life-saving treatment to 60 who had precancerous cells. Dreams have turned into plans and with the help of the Friends of Lily, by 2020 The Lily Project will prevent cervical cancer for more than 200,000 impoverished women living in rural villages throughout Central America.
Today we are in a capital-raising campaign to purchase trucks and equipment to outfit our version of a mobile health clinic. To learn more and donate to our campaign, please visit: http://www.thelilyproject.org/get-involved.html.
by Jonathan Butcher, COO
I often have the opportunity to stand in and listen to the community meetings that take place with The Lily Project. Typically, I’m just involved in the strategic operations and “heavy lifting” while Anielka and her team organizes the community. However, yesterday I had an opportunity to do a little more.
While in the community with The Lily Project, I work on another project that focuses on connecting capital resources outside of the country with local communities in order to bring more opportunities to the local folks. As most of us know, foreign cooperatives and distributors take the biggest cuts of the profit in rural communities and the farmers are left poor, so we have a plan to change that scenario. At the meeting yesterday, we gathered a group of men and women to talk about the opportunities with The Lily Project as well as other sustainable opportunities.
Key to our approach with the community is the message that ALL people in the community have equal value. Both projects believe women and men should have equal opportunities in the home and the workplace. In the U.S., the philosophy is not foreign; however, in Nicaragua, the belief is not always welcome. When only women attend the meetings, heads will nod in agreement. However, yesterday the meeting was mixed with men and women, and the women did not even make eye contact with us. The men, on the other hand, were very vocal.
The first objection came from a 30-something year old man with his wife in the back of the room. He thought the idea of a woman being naked in front of another person violated God’s laws regarding women. Another objection came from the other side of the room regarding the position women take when the exam is being performed. Another man spoke up about the privacy of the women and felt that it was not worth it if others knew about an issue she may have. The Lily team answered all of the objections gracefully; however, considering it was the men who were vocal, I felt it was my responsibility to respond as well.
My response was “How can we as men gather together and talk about the women and their rights while they sit in silence? More importantly, we should be talking about reasons the women SHOULD have the exam. Cervical cancer is the number one reason women are dying in Nicaragua – the highest in this part of the world; only Africa occupies a higher place. The reason for this is clear: men are speaking for the women and often times pressuring them or prohibiting them from taking care of themselves. We as men have the responsibility to change this. We SHOULD be talking about the reasons the women should be at the Lily event and start encouraging and supporting our women to take care of themselves considering they take care of us and the family always.”
Men of Nicaragua, it is time to step up and end the control over women. Women deserve to be treated as an equal part in the relationship, and it is imperative that we ensure their needs are met just as we would attend to any need of a member in the family. Moms and wives are the cornerstones that must be cared for. After all, if your mom were not healthy enough to take care of you when you were growing up, where would you be today? Think about it and let’s change this situation together.
by Hortencia Gonzalez, Cervical Technician
According to the Ministry of Health in Nicaragua (MINSA), female mortality from cervical cancer is still the highest in Nicaragua compared to all the Americas. Next to the high female mortality, Nicaragua registers extremely low in the level of education of girls - below the Central American regional average. From birth to death, women in Nicaragua are at a serious disadvantage in terms of health and education.
When I was in college, I decided to do my internship at the Bertha Calderon Hospital where I worked with women in the final stages in their battle against cancer. It was an extremely difficult year because I never imagined the stories they would share. The women always talked with me about their lives and their feelings, and it truly opened up my eyes to our situation in Nicaragua.
My first close experience with cervical cancer was when I met Patricia. A woman from the rural community of Jalapa, in the north part of Nicaragua. Patricia carried sadness, pain and despair on her face every day. She visited the hospital laboratory once a week for screening, which was very painful for her because of how the treatment reduced her vessel size and blood flow. The cancer was torture as she battled against its growth daily. Besides the physical suffering, the cancer kept her away from her family. When I visited her in the radiotherapy center where she was housed, I learned more about her life, her family, and her desires to beat the disease. Her ultimate dream was to just return home to be with her daughters who lived back in Jalapa. According to Patricia, they rarely visited due to the distance and cost of the trip to Managua. During my time with Patricia, there was a period when all seemed lost. The treatment was so devastating and painful; she eventually lost her appetite and her desire to live.
Fortunately, Patricia never gave up her battle and continued the treatment. Patricia survived the two year battle and is now back with her daughters, who ultimately were the reason she kept fighting. Patricia is a symbol of hope for many women going through treatment, and a voice of caution to all women who are prone to the disease. Cervical cancer is preventable, and we have an opportunity to make a difference.
Since working with The Lily Project, I feel as though I am living each story of the women we exam and treat. As we venture to these little rural communities there are so many stories of women like Patricia that did not end as well. I see daily the cycle continuing as little girls are not being educated, often pregnant by the age of 13, and mothers supporting the cycle of something we must break in our country. This is the motivation and inspiration that make me want to do this work. I know that we, as women in Nicaragua, must be together on this mission. I believe we all play a part in the future. I hope that if you are living in the communities we visit, you will participate in our events; and I hope that if you are reading this from afar that you will support our efforts through whatever means you can so that women can realize hope for themselves and their families in the near future.
by Anielka Medina, Executive Director
I feel women in the communities where we work are always so limited because there is no gender equality. Every day I witness girls beginning life as a woman between the ages of 14 and 17 years old. Such young girls assuming roles as housewives.
After taking on this role, the women face the constant fear of being abandoned by their partners, since they do not have a salary or title of property that allows them to live a life outside of marriage. Typically, the man is the landowner and therefore he has control of everything.
Women in these communities assume there are no other options besides domestic and reproductive work. In consideration of the limited outlook, they suffer constant domination by their husbands. Unfortunately, it leads to an unhealthy mental and physical life. The precarious lifestyle of the women is inherited by the children, and ultimately the cycle is born that we witness everyday.
According to reports provided by SILAIS in 2011 (the Nicaraguan regional ministry of health), the highest incidence of cervical cancer in Nicaragua is in the municipality of Matagalpa. It is for this reason The Lily Project chose to work in the Matagalpa area. However, the problem goes much deeper than just the stats.
When talking to community leaders in Rancho Grande, Matagalpa, about machismo and its impact on the high stats, many men are very open about not allowing their partners to attend gynecological exams. The reality is that many women are suffering a silent death for fear of jealous husbands.
Starting up a conversation with a woman in the community is a huge challenge for the team, as they are extremely shy and afraid of strangers. The women’s suffering is reflected in every look, every word, and often times a forced smile. When I'm in the middle of the group of women and I am talking, I feel their silent gazes for help..
We want every woman to believe they are able to make decisions about their lives, about their health, so that their children can grow up without the pain of loosing their mother and with the knowledge that they are strong, capable individuals.
Help us to convey the message to all women that a good decision about your life can make a difference to the future generation!
escrito por Anielka Medina, Directora Ejecutiva
En mi blog anterior he hablado de algunos factores por lo cuales The Lily Project, se ha vuelto tan popular entre las mujeres. Me complace decir que en menos de un mes hemos atendido a 221 mujeres.
Me encanta compartir historias, por que esto nos hace crecer y entender la importancia que tiene apoyar este proyecto dedicado a las mujeres. Cada día que pasa me siento bendecida de que cientos de mujeres confíen en nosotros.
Chacraseca es una comunidad muy pobre. Totalmente agrícola, todas las mujeres trabajan en los hogares criando animales, cargando grandes baldes de agua de un lugar a otros para cocinar, buscando leña. Por lo que nunca cuentan con un salario que les permita decidir en realizarse un examen para prevenir el cáncer cervical.
Doña Josefa de 60 años, camino mas 4km para ser una de las primeras en ser atendidas, ya que el centro de salud que ella visitaba le dijo que ya no necesitaba realizarse Papanicolaou por que ya estaba muy mayor, ella expresaba que aun tiene un esposo y que desea ver a sus nietos crecer, ya que aun se sentía joven y llena de vida y que temía por su salud, ya que tenia mas de 2 años de no realizarse un examen por culpa del centro y no podía pagar un examen.
María de 40 años es una ama de casa, dedicando todo su vida al servicio de su familia, hace 3 años se realizo su primer Papanicolaou el cual expreso que tenia cáncer de cuello uterino, por lo que tuvo una intervención quirúrgica (Histerectomía). Con mucha pena y lagrimas en los ojos nos contaba que desde ese tratamiento su vida se convirtió en un infierno, ya que su esposo piensa que sin matriz, ella no sirve para nada. Cómo puede un hombre decir esto?
Hemos tratado de involucrar a hombres en las charlas, pero aun no logramos que asistan, explicamos a todas las mujeres, como es nuestro cuerpo anatómicamente, para que sepan que la Histerectomía, no interfiere en el placer sexual.
Las mujeres no solo tienen que soportar la enfermedad, sino también el machismo de sus esposos, siendo esta una de las principales causas de muertes de cáncer cervical en Nicaragua. Esperamos que a través de este proyectos muchas mujeres puedan comprender que lo mas importante para alcanzar la felicidad es la toma de decisiones que le beneficien a sentirse saludable.
Para sentirse feliz, saludable y mujer tienen que romper barreras y ser luchadoras, nosotros queremos ser participe de este guerra, donde ellas serán las vencedoras de la lucha que estamos empezando contra el cáncer cervical. No queremos que niños, adolescentes, sufran la ausencia de una madre, por una enfermedad que no debería de matar a nadie, por su fácil detección.
**Las historias y comunidades mencionadas en este blog, son representativas de las mujeres y comunidades que hemos visitado. Los nombres han sido cambiados para proteger a las mujeres a quienes servimos.
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The Lily Project is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization (EIN/tax ID number: 47-3625010). Your donations are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. ©Copyright 2017