EMPOWER.ME STRONG! FOUNDATION
Empower.Me Strong! Foundation is a California-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization to support women facing and healing from cancer. We broaden awareness of Complementary and Integrative Health by making these services from independent healthcare providers, more accessible and affordable for women cancer survivors from low-to-middle income households. By lifting the costs of receiving integrative care, women receive services without having to choose family needs over their own health. This create a manageable path towards wellness.
Our learning programs help promote whole person healing. While, our survivorship programs cultivate mindfulness, increase social connections and maintain emotional wellness.
Many Complementary and Integrative Health services are not covered by private insurance or medicare, therefore costs become the biggest barrier to receiving treatments. When women have to choose between their family’s needs and nurturing themselves to wellness, they place their families first. By making these treatments affordable, we empower ALL women to maintain health and reach optimal wellness for a lifetime.
THE INSPIRATION FOR EMPOWER.ME STRONG!
How it ALL started!
As the Founder, I’d like to share what fueled the inspiration for Empower.Me Strong! During the four years after my double mastectomies, my body struggled to find its way to a new normal. With a long list of symptoms, my primary care doctor was unable to provide answers. All my blood test results came back borderline normal. This did nothing to trigger any medical protocol for receiving treatments.
My Integrative healthcare team
For most of my life, I chose my primary healthcare by way of complementary and integrative services. I seldom, if at all, stepped into a hospital or saw a medical doctor so, decided to try what was familiar to me. I found a healthcare team including my breast surgeon, acupuncturists with one specializing in Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM), a functional medicine doctor, a physical therapist and engaging with expressive arts processes, and sharing struggles with the circle of friends, who are also thriving after cancer. Without this kind of support, the physical side-effects of surgery would have continued along a downward spiral.
Never Made Out-of-Pocket Costs a Barrier
When I received *CIH treatments, I had to pay most services ‘out-of-pocket’ because these treatments were not covered by my health insurance. The only two choices were 1) continue to feeling pain and symptoms or 2) pay for services myself. These treatments made such a difference to my overall health, but honestly the costs were hard to manage.
How Can I Help?
I began to ask questions on ways I could help women, who are struggling to relieve pain and the side effects from cancer treatments. How do women afford extended care with complementary and integrative health? With these natural approaches to healthcare, it is customary for the body to respond with multiple treatments. Would women from middle-income households be able to afford extended treatments, while also meeting the needs and obligations of their families? Would they choose to give up their treatments to assist their loved ones?
Many public programs and nonprofit organizations do not focus on helping middle-income earners. This population is pinched between children in college or living at home and aging parents with rising costs of health and living care. They have been forgotten. My vision is to ease the financial burden on women, in these situations, so they have the opportunity to fully heal from cancer. This is my inspiration for Empower.Me Strong!