A News Anchor Gets The Scare Of Her Life And Forever Changes The Lives Of Others In Response

Imagine receiving a terrifying cancer diagnosis and struggling to understand the complicated treatment options available to you or worrying about how you'll cover the costs. This is a reality for many Americans in our complex health care system. Here's the story of one woman on a mission to help an entire community cope.

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Ysabel Duron: Cancer is now the leading cause of death in Latinos. It's not like everybody is going to be saved but everybody has a right to try to be saved and that's what we're trying to change. I was a reporter and anchor in television news and I was diagnosed with hodgkin's lymphoma. My first though was "Ok, God this isn't about dying then what's the point?" and my second thought was "I wonder if I should do a story?"

Well Pam, I'm hardly alone as you've read in the statistics.

At the time the journalism business was starting to change. I stepped back saying "I don't feel like I'm doing anything of value in this business and I don't feel valued. What can I do? I could turn this experience into something that was a payoff for going through cancer." There was a whole group of Latinos who were under served and did not have access to health care so I put any business sense I had to work, used my networks and here we are a decade later. It just snowballed. At Latinos Contact Cancer we provide education, support services and patient navigation in the hospital for Spanish speaking low income people.

Female: [Foreign language ]

Female:There were a lot of myths and misinformation about cancer and so we took the issues and turned them into 21 little squares on a bingo card.

Female: [Foreign language]

Ysabel Duron: We convened the National Latino Cancer Summit, we have just engaged on a three state research project with Georgetown's Lombardi Cancer Center, and we're becoming that very important link between the system and the community. One of the most healing things you can do is turn around and educated somebody else or to help somebody else.

Female: Cancer is...

Female: [Foreign language]

Ysabel Duron: My greatest achievement will be when I know that we have opened the door to everybody because when you're facing something as horrific as cancer, you need all hands on board and no doors shut. My name is Ysabel Duron and this is my encore.


There may be small errors in this transcript.

This video was created by Encore.org for its 2013 Purpose Prize awards. I found it on the Encore Careers YouTube channel.

May 20, 2014

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