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Guadalupe is 65 years old and recently moved to the United States to live with her children after her husband passed away.  Because she came to the States already a senior, she did not accrue the public benefits that those in the workforce have at her age.  Guadalupe has to rely on her children’s financial support at this stage in her life.  Her oldest daughter, Myrna, noticed she looked unusually unhealthy and depressed.  After consulting with her siblings, Myrna – a long time patient of Venice Family Clinic – set up an appointment for her mom.  Guadalupe insisted that she was okay but reluctantly accepted to keep the appointment.  At her first visit, Guadalupe received a complete medical evaluation which revealed undiagnosed diabetes, symptoms of depression and lapsed mammogram screening.  Her provider put her on diabetes treatment and referred her to mental health services and on-site mammogram screening.  He noticed that Guadalupe was overwhelmed with the information so he reassured her that it was for her health.
Despite the provider’s effort, Guadalupe soon stopped taking care of diabetes and refused to follow-up.  When the time came for the mammogram appointment, Guadalupe did not want to go.  Myrna worked hard and convinced her otherwise. When Guadalupe entered the waiting room, the program coordinator noticed her worried look and introduced her self.  Guadalupe quickly warmed up to the coordinator – something Myrna had not seen of her in a while.  When it was Guadalupe’s turn, she confidently went in alone.  After her screening, Guadalupe approached the coordinator and said “Since my husband died, I have been really sad and scared especially after they told me I had diabetes.  I didn’t want to come to get a mammogram because I was scared that I might have breast cancer too.  When you came to talk to me, you made it seem so natural and easy; you gave the courage to face my fear.  Thank you so much.”  Despite her continued struggle with depression and diabetes, Guadalupe is closely managing her health, keeps her regular follow-ups including her annual mammogram screening.