When Bridgette Hempstead was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35, she realized that there were very few resources available for black women with breast cancer. In fact, while incredible leaps have been made in breast and other cancer care, black, Hispanic, and other communities of color tend to be diagnosed at more advanced stages of breast cancer and have worse outcomes.
Bridgette wants to change these statistics by providing support, education, and advocacy for members of African-American and other underserved communities who are diagnosed with breast and other types of cancers. She founded Cierra Sisters to move forward her vision to educate and empower people who experience disparities in access to health education and care due to cultural stereotypes and racial bias. She began by providing individual support to women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Cierra Sisters now provides a wide range of personal support to the local and national African-American community affected by cancer. Bridgette has also teamed up with an initiative at UW Medicine to interview black women and identify their needs and barriers they may face in an effort to improve early detection of breast cancer. We’re grateful to Bridgette for her advocacy and service to the cancer community and delighted to have her insights as a member of the CVI Patient Advisory Council!