Komen Foundation connects minorities with life-saving services

LANSING, (WLNS) –  Fighting breast cancer is a long and arduous journey for anyone and everyone affected by the disease.

But imagine not having a car and having to rely on others to make it to your doctor’s appointments and treatments.

It’s a common issue minority women in the Lansing area face.

Like clockwork, 3 to 5 days a week, rain or shine

74-year old Judith Riggings wakes up knowing her exact plan of action for the day.

Spending the day with her you would never know she’s battled one too many forms of cancer.

Every time she fought she won her latest victory fighting breast cancer.

And she’s never let anything stand in her way.

“Traveling and getting back and forth and going to radiation every day and going to your doctor’s appointments and going to therapy so and forth it’s pretty costly,” said breast cancer survivor Judith Riggins.

Traveling to and from treatments is one of her biggest challenges because she can’t drive.

Judith relies on a special transportation service to make it to her doctor’s appointments on time

“I just don’t have you know a car and fortunately I’ve been quite blessed with Spec-Tran,” said Riggins.

Jennifer Jurgens of the Susan G. Komen foundation says it’s a circumstance really common in the minority community.

And it’s something the foundation is ‘putting in overtime’ to solve.

“Transportation is one of the things that we’ve identified in our community profile as a real issue,” said Jennifer Jurgens with the Komen Foundation.

Jurgens says it goes beyond transportation.

She says cultural barriers can often times stand in the way for many minority women when it comes to fighting the disease

“We’ve learned through our data analysis that there’s a certain fear of large hospital systems, distrust of doctors and there’s some faith based issues. God will take care of me so I don’t need to pay attention to those things,” said Jurgens.

But the Komen foundation is working to change those fears.

“If someone has a transportation program that was specifically for getting African-American women to their appointments. I could fund that,” said Jurgens.

Jurgens says it’s working with different organizations these women can relate to-by doing that-they’re able to connect them with the resources they need, to ensure they win the fight against cancer.

“There’s no reason that women in Michigan aren’t finding this disease earlier we have to figure that out. And we are here to support and fund that and I would just ask that people reach out to us because we can help,” said Jurgens.

Just like Spec-Tran kept Judith on the right path to recovery.

“If it wasn’t for Spec-Tran I just don’t know how I could get around and go to all the different appointments that I need to go to,” said Riggins.

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