Joy Restored through Navigation Program
“It will never happen to me.” Like many women, this was Joy Anderson’s perception of breast cancer for most of her life, until 2015 when everything changed. A few years ago, Joy noticed a lump in her left breast and decided it was time to get a mammogram. She visited the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Mobile Mammography Unit and after receiving a few mammograms, abnormal results and a biopsy, Joy was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 43 and needed immediate surgery. At the time, she was underinsured, homeless, and unsure of how to process her diagnosis.
Lisa Lopez, certified breast health navigator at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Westover Hills, stepped in as a trusted resource and advocate for Joy, helping her figure out next steps and how to manage her medical finances. Lisa was with Joy every step of the way, available to answer questions and to offer peace of mind.
“After my operation, I decided to stay in a motel for a couple of nights instead of going back to the shelter right away,” Joy added. “I quickly discovered that the pain was too much for me to handle on my own, and I could not change my clothes or bathe myself.”
Joy reached out to Lisa, the one person who had faithfully walked alongside her throughout her journey.
“I called Lisa and asked if she was available to help me,” Joy said. “Without hesitation, she met me at the motel, brought me food, and helped me get cleaned up. I will never forget the selflessness and kindness she showed me.”
Joy is now cancer free and stronger than ever. She views her life as a gift and has recently started kayaking, swimming, singing karaoke, and going to parties.
“I am incredibly grateful for Lisa because throughout my journey battling cancer, she was always there assuring me that I was never alone,” Joy said. “Without Lisa’s help and encouragement, I don’t think I would have had the emotional strength to get through. I see my story as an opportunity to reach others and to offer encouragement in the same way that Lisa encouraged me. My positive attitude and faith in God has gotten me to this place of healing.”