“Cancer is 15% medical and 85% deciding how you deal with it.”

This month, like every October, we recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For us, it is a time to reflect on how breast cancer has impacted the lives of women, men, and their loved ones. The journey from diagnosis to survivorship and beyond can be filled with difficulty and pain, no matter what stage of cancer diagnosis.

It’s also a time to ACT, so that everyone who is facing this serious diagnosis can have every resource to confront it, and win the battle!

Did you know…1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime?

Cathy Rodríguez-Contreras’ shares with us her story that begins with a routine mammogram. 3 years ago, after her appointment, she got an unusual call. Her doctor wanted to see her back. She thought, “That’s it. I have cancer.” ….she was right. A biopsy determined her cancer was stage 0. Though not excellent news, it was the best news she could receive – considering the circumstances.

Stage 0, as Cathy learned, meant that her cancer had not spread outside of her breast. After 6 1/2 weeks of radiation therapy, she was declared free of cancer. The immediate threat had ended, but her survivorship journey was only beginning….

“Cancer is NEVER going to be a distant memory,” she says. “It’s a crappy time and even a horrible time. And when it all ends, you are left with the internal and mental stuff”.

“You carry around your scars with you.”

BUT THEN….Cathy found support! She found Cancer Support Community Arizona through our joint support program with the Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA LIVESTRONG program.

  • She immediately started feeling better!
  • Throughout her life it has been difficult for her to ask for help.

Once she walked through our doors she was greeted by Tracy, our Senior Director of Programs and Growth, and was shown around our historic campus. Cathy knew she was in a place of caring people that would reach out to help her – even when it was difficult for her to ask.

For Cathy, Cancer Support Community Arizona welcomes everyone with open arms and helps them get to grips with their reality. This includes helping cancer survivors make medical, financial and emotional decisions the future.

“They encourage you to be in control of how you’re feeling, knowing that CSCAZ will always be a safe place to talk about cancer and deal with the emotional repercussions of this disease.”

Cathy continues to take part in various Cancer Support Community Arizona programs and at any given time, you’ll likely be greeted by her, when you walk through our front door.


The State of Arizona offers an INCREDIBLE opportunity for YOU to get involved and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for your donation up to $400 ($800 per married couple). The Qualifying Charitable tax credit offers a select number of nonprofits with a proven track record of serving Arizona families, strong fiscal responsibilities and commitment to quality each year with this easy to submit tax credit donation. These donations enable Cancer Support Community Arizona to open many doors to hope, courage, and community for those impacted by cancer and we are honored to be a proud of member of this opportunity.