Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation is named in honor of Alberta “Albie” Carson who lost her fight against breast cancer in 2002. Albie’s husband, Doug Carson, founded this 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2004 to honor his wife and offer hope to others.
Today, Albie Aware is supporting people facing breast cancer in the greater Sacramento area. It is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated solely to breast cancer in our community.
The main programs of Albie Aware are:
1) Early detection screenings for breast cancer
Albie Aware works with community centers, medical providers and other nonprofit organizations to reach individuals with a higher risk of developing advanced breast cancer before being diagnosed. Early detection of breast cancer offers the best chance for effective treatment, and mammogram screenings are an essential tool in early detection.
We use multiple points of data to pinpoint neighborhoods in the greater Sacramento area where community members need mammogram services. We engage these communities at higher risk of breast cancer in awareness activities to increase their understanding of breast cancer including early detection screenings, significance of family history, signs of breast cancer, ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer and help in scheduling a breast cancer screening mammogram. If an individual needs additional imaging testing beyond a screening mammogram, they are set up with the proper referral, which may in some cases include the state’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program.
2) Financial assistance for breast cancer patients
Albie Aware provides financial assistance for medical expenses (screening mammograms, breast cancer treatment costs, etc.) to individuals who do not qualify for payments from government programs or their insurance. These expenses are paid directly to the medical providers at a discounted rate.
3) Patient advocacy / Compassionate support
Our two-person staff, provides hundreds of support services and compassionate support to breast cancer patients and survivors by addressing their breast health concerns, planning for their breast cancer treatment, and matching them with resources based on their needs.
When an individual receives a breast cancer diagnosis or an inconclusive mammogram, they may be left with questions. Albie Aware acts as a patient advocate by supporting them in understanding their condition and connecting them to nurse navigators and others in the medical community. Throughout a breast cancer journey, patients may need to be connected to a variety of resources. Whether an individual needs help finding a support group, isn’t sure where they can purchase special post-surgery garments, or has questions about government programs, Albie Aware can assist them in understanding and navigating available resources.
In addition to these services, Albie Aware collaborates with organizations in the community to celebrate and honor breast cancer survivors. In 2022, Albie Aware worked with the Sacramento Kings and Sacramento Republic FC to create special event opportunities for survivors.
4) Breast cancer awareness
Breast cancer awareness is an important part of reducing our community's mortality rate from breast cancer, as some individuals do not know when to start having breast cancer screenings, need a reminder to schedule their mammogram, or can learn ways to reduce their risk of breast cancer.
During last year's Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Albie Aware reached more than 1 million people in the greater Sacramento area with breast health information through media appearances, breast health classes, social media and events. Throughout the year, Albie Aware provides breast health classes in the greater Sacramento area which educate individuals on breast cancer including early detection screenings, significance of family history, signs of breast cancer, ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer and help in scheduling a breast cancer screening mammogram.
Our community's immediate need for Albie Aware services:
- Breast cancer is the leading diagnosed cancer in women in California
- Sacramento County has a higher death rate due to breast cancer than the national and state averages
- In the US, more than 9.5 million people missed cancer screenings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- When breast cancer is detected early and in the localized stage, the five-year relative survival rate is 99%
In August 2021, Albie Aware appointed a new Executive Director, Courtney Quinn, who is a breast cancer survivor and has spent more than 20 years in the nonprofit sector. She is actively establishing new relationships with local healthcare providers to increase involvement in services to those impacted by health disparities. Albie Aware is open to new partnerships in the greater Sacramento community.