Barbara Arocha-Diaz, Breast Cancer Survivor, Advocate, Mom, and former Corporate Executive, is today’s Wonderful Woman. Barbara lives in the Tampa area and is actively involved as a Florida Breast Cancer Foundation Advocate, serving on the Foundation’s Speaker’s Bureau, serving on the steering committee for the 10th Anniversary of the End Breast Cancer Specialty License Plate Event Committee, working exhibit tables at health fairs and helping to plan education and advocacy events and meetings for the Foundation.
Barbara spoke about her passion for advocacy. “It is very important for women to become their own personal medical advocate, and to stay current on all medical updates on how to take better care of their bodies beginning at an early age.” She stressed the importance of mammograms as an early detection tool. “The sooner breast cancer is detected, the better the chances of breast preservation versus mastectomy. Currently, this country is seeing a larger majority of breast cancer diagnosis in women in their twenties and thirties.”
Barbara is open about her breast cancer diagnosis and her willingness to tell her story. “The more that I share with women, the more they will become aware of their need to be informed about their breast health. By sharing my experience it also gives me the opportunity to explain why women need to become their own advocate about their healthcare and how to navigate within the medical system to obtain the proper medical treatment”.
Barbara recalled those early days after the diagnosis: “I was very fortunate to have excellent physicians, but I wish that I would have had personal attention and more information about resources available for additional services to help me through my treatment and beyond.” Her family was critical to her healing. “My family was very supportive and also bewildered, because they did not have the proper information on how to help a breast cancer patient and how to be a caregiver. It was emotionally difficult for me because I had two young sons’ that did not understand what was happening to their ‘Mommy’.”
In addition to volunteering with the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation, Barbara is a volunteer and speaker for the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.
Barbara Arocha-Diaz, busy mom, loving wife, breast cancer survivor and super advocate, we salute you as the Wonderful Woman you are!