One of four two-time Many Hands grantees, Nueva Vida received its first grant of $24,000 in 2012. Ten years later, the Alexandria-based support network for Latinas with cancer and their families received a second Partner Grant of $67,000.

Executive Director Astrid Jimenez says the Many Hands grant came at just the right time, because some major foundations that traditionally funded cancer prevention have dropped that support to focus instead on funding research. Nueva Vida’s Outreach and Education program is all about cancer prevention—educating women in the Latino community about the importance of getting mammograms, giving them access to those screenings and other medical care, and teaching them about healthy lifestyles. In addition, Nueva Vida provides bilingual, culturally sensitive Patient Navigation to clients requiring cancer care and Mental Health Survivorship support to survivors, caretakers, and families.

With the support of the Many Hands grant, Nueva Vida is continuing efforts to expand in both Prince George’s County and northern Virginia. The staff of seven are working with a consortium of organizations and hospitals in Prince George’s and are trying to find more hospitals and medical providers in Virginia, where there is a strong demand for Nueva Vida’s services.

Nueva Vida meets with people in their communities to bring the message of cancer prevention, often accompanied by a mobile van with mammogram screening available on board. They also host education seminars with oncologists, nutritionists, and other experts who present information in Spanish to the attendees.

One such event was held in October at George Washington University, where Cancer Preventorium Director Dr. Elmer Huerta and Nutrition Professor Dr. Karina Lora made presentations. More than 80 people registered to attend in person, and thousands more in the Latino community had access to the program on Facebook Live. Dr. Huerta, one of the founders of Nueva Vida 23 years ago, says it’s profoundly important for people to know that cancer can be detected early. “That knowledge,” he says, “is power.” Nueva Vida gives Latinas the power to improve their own health and tackle a cancer diagnosis with knowledge and access to care.

-Stephanie Nealer