omahacommunityfoundation · Karen’s Story

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As a part of The Landscape data collection process, the Foundation also compiled a number of stories from community members who have been impacted by the focus areas. This is one of the stories that represent the lived experiences of people who reside in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area.

Karen is a breast cancer survivor who tells her story about how state and federal health programs helped to catch and treat her cancer at an early stage.

After moving to Omaha, Karen was out of work and lacking healthcare coverage. She was used to visiting her healthcare provider every year but missed an annual exam because she was no longer employed and couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket. Thankfully she didn’t wait too long before reaching out to the community health center. While there for her exam, a social worker invited Karen to sign up for a free mammogram that was being offered through a state program. Karen’s mammogram detected breast cancer in its early stages. With help from the health center, she immediately applied for Medicare and was able to get scheduled for surgery and radiation right away. Having access to good information and great care made a huge impact on Karen’s peace of mind. It has allowed her to focus on her treatment and the healing process without the burden of financial stress.