In 2009,

my husband noticed that I had started a habit of scratching one of my breasts frequently throughout the day. He insisted that I should see my doctor and get it checked. I ignored his advice for a year before finally succumbing to the pressure. After visiting the doctor, I was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer. My husband and I initially kept the diagnosis to ourselves. As I was going through treatment, I became more open about my cancer with the support and encouragement of my sister-in-law. My experience taught me the importance of early detection and how it can make the treatment easier and in most cases lifesaving. I began urging friends and family members to get checked and to take potential symptoms of breast cancer seriously. After finishing my treatment and with the support of family and friends, I am now in remission.

The Birth of Alpha Breast Cancer Support Service (ABCSS)

After my diagnosis, I learned my late cousin and my best friend were both diagnosed with cancer. We teamed up together and joined a local support group. Our experience made us appreciate all the resources that were available to us here in the United States. We recognized the support for Breast Cancer patients is very limited in our native country. This inherent problem inspired and motivated me to find a way to give back. With the support and encouragement of one of my friends, we decided to collaborate and form an organization to promote breast cancer awareness and support. Our first sponsored event as a group was a 5k walk/run, aimed at promoting awareness. Our first 5K walk in 2013 ended up being a tremendous success and we raised over $20,000. My faith and support network soon moved me to take on a larger role as an advocate for breast cancer support and awareness. This led to the creation of Alpha Breast Cancer Support Service (ABCSS).
ABCSS is a breast cancer awareness non-profit organization that aims to create strong links between organizations here in the United States and those in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Mission:
Our mission is to bring together the diaspora community to raise awareness and support for Eritrean and Ethiopian women who have experienced breast cancer.


Vision:
Our vision is to create a world in which every woman has the education and resources available to detect, treat, and fight breast cancer.


Goals:

  • Purchase mammograms machines for hospitals in Eritrea and Ethiopia in hopes to lead to early detection.
    • Partner with a non-profit in the United States who sends a team of radiologists to third world countries to provide training to the radiology staff in Eritrea and Ethiopia.
    • Bring awareness and education by providing communication through brochures in Amharic and Tigrinya about the importance of breast cancer awareness and availability of mammogram screenings.
  • Create a support system through monthly meetings for breast cancer survivors and those currently going through a battle to meet and uplift one another. The meetings will be held in the DMV area.