Uniting Latinas in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Abigail Barraza Foundation thrives on educating women, teens, and young girls on the importance of early detection, breast cance

By Monique Barraza
Published on LatinoLA: September 18, 2014

Uniting Latinas in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

My name is Monique Barraza, Director of the Abigail Barraza Foundation. I inspire women to be successful, empower, educate, and share common life with them. The Abigail Barraza Foundation thrives on educating women, teens, and young girls on the importance of early detection and breast cancer awareness. We believe that through our work we have instilled the power of knowledge into females and that alone is greater than any sold out charity event.

The uniqueness of our organization is that we get to interact directly with the people that we support. We have the great opportunity to personally mentor Latinas and their families and go through hardships together. When my mother was diagnosed prior to her death from her third breast cancer battle, I was in high school. Through this, we mentor our local teens and educate them on breast health so in turn, they can return home and educate their families. I personally know what it is like to put your life on hold and the teens that we reach out to can relate. I'm a firm believer that if we are able to make a connection with our Latina women, they are more likely to spread our message and potentially save lives.

As humans we are called here to serve and that is exactly what we do, we serve the Latina women. We want to make a lasting impression on these women, but we also want to make a lifelong connection. I know that during the times of struggle, these women just want to feel loved and important and that is why we make every encounter an authentic personal encounter. The Abigail Barraza Foundation truly cares for the women that we serve by empowering, educating, and sharing common life with them.

I don't measure success through sold out events, but rather through the education, awareness,and relationships that we build through the women that we encounter. The Abigail Barraza Foundation's main goal is to educate women on early detection, breast cancer awereness, and creating a bond.

Through our foundation, we have taken a unique approach on targeting supporters and those affected by breast cancer. From Pink Nights at local high schools to Fashion Friday events, our organization has set out new ways of promoting breast cancer awareness.

Hosting events and raising money is great, but what The Abigail Barraza Foundation prides on is being relatable to women who are directly affected by breast cancer. With other organizations, one doesn't get to see the face of gratitude nor have that emotional attachment with the family that the organization is helping. We at ABF love to make house calls. We value that we are able to share common life with the individual because that to us is more authentic and genuine than sending a check or food basket in the mail. Our success lies within the real human interactions that we make with our supporters and those who we support.

By creating these authentic bonds, I am able to educate women on early detections such as mammograms and knowing signs of potential breast cancer. When a bond is created, a person values your words more than when there is no personal connection. I feel that success is evident when an organization has been recognized as one of the first Latina cancer foundations in California, a city wide Paint the Town Pink campaign is launched, and being featured in LATINA Magazine and Cosmo For Latinas. Through the relationships, education, events and empowerment that we have had, I am inspired everyday to make a difference.

Monique Barraza
Abigail Barraza Foundation

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