TV host Mayte Prida, a Miami transplant from Mexico City, survived four bouts of cancer. For her first cancer diagnosis, third-stage breast cancer, she had no medical insurance. Her father gave her the money to get a second opinion, during which a malignant tumor was discovered growing on one of her kidneys. Her third bout — lung cancer. Her fourth bout — uterine cancer.
In 2010, her 15-year-old daughter was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. “Latinos are diagnosed with breast cancer less but die the most,” Prida said. She explained that many Latino men abandon their wives when they are “mutilated by cancer.” For this reason, Prida continued, “Many Latino women would rather die than have a breast removed.” Prida realized that education was necessary and formed a foundation to spread the word that cancer is not an automatic death sentence, and that free medicine is available. She uses Latin celebrities in TV public service announcements to make her message heard. It's working. In the U.S., 6 million cancer patients receive their medications for free.