This past October, our client, Manuela, visited The GRACE Community Clinic stating that 3 months prior she noticed a lump in her right breast. She had never before undergone a clinical breast mammogram. Our GRACE volunteer physician, Dr. David Lawson, assessed her then ordered a diagnostic mammogram/sonogram. Her digital mammogram/sonogram was suspicious of breast cancer, prompting the Radiology Physician to recommend she have a bilateral MRI.

The following month, our clinic received the MRI results suggestive of a malignancy, and a subsequent biopsy tested positive for breast malignancy. Just days before Christmas, Manuela underwent right breast mastectomy surgery at John Peter Smith Hospital. She is set to begin six months of chemotherapy in the next few weeks, followed by radiation. Hers is a very aggressive form of breast cancer requiring aggressive treatment.

We have worked with Manuela, who rarely uses our services aside from food, clothing, and holiday or clinic services, since 2008. For the past few years, GRACE Client Services and Clinic staff noticed that she is an extremely diligent worker. She has kept us informed of her employment status and struggles. Manuela had been the main provider for her family. Her brother recently stepped in to help by taking her family into his home, and has now become the primary means of financial support as Manuela is now unable to work.

As a result, we are looking into ways in which we may assist the family with rent, utilities, doctor bills, and other expenditures. She is working with our staff so that we may implement a plan for support to help her and her family throughout her time of treatment. We owe many thanks to John Peter Smith Breast Cancer Center for taking such amazing care of our client.

Thanks to your support and the services provided by GRACE, Manuela’s cancer was detected early enough to likely save her life. Although this is a difficult and uncertain season in the lives of this family, they have fortunately been able to rely on GRACE to connect them with the resources necessary for Manuela to receive this vital procedure. Manuela is a tenacious woman with a positive attitude – she always has a smile on her face. She is so very grateful for her supportive extended family who have walked alongside her during this journey. Please keep the family in your prayers, and reach out to us if you would like to contribute in any way.

Upon news of her required mastectomy, a group of her dear friends and family held a fundraiser at the Grapevine Outreach Center Park months ago. Her “troops” sold tamales – enough to cover the portion for the surgery the hospital required upfront. The community of Grapevine has a tremendously giving heart, and our clients at GRACE continuously reciprocate the love and care we are enabled to provide. In their appreciation of GRACE Community Clinic, Manuela’s entire family brought tamales to a recent Tuesday night clinic for the volunteers and staff.  It is  an overwhelming honor and privilege to serve our clients, our GRACE family!