HEALTH

Free clinic helps mother get surgery, treatment for her breast cancer

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(WJLA) - Just a few short months ago, 40-year-old Galai Enkhtsatsral found out she had breast cancer.

Enkhtsatsral is from Mongolia - she doesn't speak English. Her daughter Enji translates for her.

Enkhtsatsral said when she first got her diagnosis, she couldn't even think about how serious it was.

"I was stuck. I didn't know it was going to happen to me," she recalled. "And I didn't have any insurance."

Enkhtsatsral said, truly, it wasn't the cancer that worried her - it was how she was going to pay for her treatment.

Officials at the Health Department suggested she apply for help from the Arlington Free Clinic, and though Enkhtsatsral thought it was a long shot, she did it anyway.

A few weeks later, the phone rang.

"When I heard that this clinic [would help me]...I did not know what to say," she recalled.

Since 2002, the Arlington Free Clinic has received money from organizations like Susan G. Komen. The clinic says the funding has helped hundreds of women like Enkhtsatsral get help with things like mammograms and surgery.

Many of the clinic's patients are non-English speakers like her, so getting the word out about breast cancer can be difficult, said Martha Ware, the clinic's nurse manager.

"We can put signs on buses, but if you can't read them, it's a huge barrier," Ware explained.

Enkhtsatsral said that, luckily for her, kindness and generosity are the same in every language, and she's so thankful for everything the clinic has done for her, such asproviding her breast cancer treatment pro bono, with the help of hundreds of volunteer physicians and workers.

"The tears I cry right now are tears of joy," she told ABC7. "No words can describe how thankful I am."

Enkhtsatsral is now back at home resting up, and said she looks forward to making a full recovery so she can volunteer at the clinic herself, and walk in the Race for the Cure.

 

 

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