In the aim of empowering organisations worldwide to address the specific needs of metastatic breast cancer patients in their native countries, UICC has launched, in partnership with Pfizer, the SPARC grants.
Today, we introduce you to SPARC grant awardee Ana Lucia from Femama in Brazil. The aim of FEMAMA's project is to expand access to metastatic breast cancer (MBC) treatment for patients in the public health system by advocating among parlamentaries.
Ana Lucia Gomes, 34 years old, is the Coordinator of Institutional Relations and Advocacy Projects at FEMAMA - the Brazilian Federation of Breast Health Support Philanthropic Institutions where she has been working for seven years now. She has an undergraduate degree in Public Relations and a specialization in Social Projects and has dedicated her career to develop social projects with a real and positive impact on society.
How has SPARC contributed to the development and growth of your initiative?
SPARC offers a great opportunity to exchange experiences with other institutions engaged in this struggle around the world. In addition, it offers us excellent tools to improve our knowledge on project management and an effective opportunity to continue to develop the mobilisation of the members of congress, who are searching for new treatments for metastatic breast cancer in the Brazilian public health system.
Do you feel that the community’s perception of MBC has evolved since the program started?
For a long time, FEMAMA has been working to increase the life expectancy of metastatic breast cancer patients in Brazil as well as improve their quality of life. With the conclusion of the Debate Cycle on Breast Cancer for Members of Congress, a project supported through a SPARC grant, it has been possible to regionalise the discussions and involve state representatives, who have been very favorable to engage in this struggle.
What do you like the most about your work?
I feel accomplished with the possibility of contributing to the implementation of public policies, which benefits Brazilian women by allowing their right to good health to be extended or guaranteed.
How does a typical work day look like?
Undeniably, no days are boring. My working days involve relationship building and cooperation with partners, monitoring and implementing projects, document analysis and stakeholder engagement.
What are the next steps for your project?
We have already held two editions of the Debate Cycle on Breast Cancer for Members of Congress this year, and we will hold at least four additional editions in 2016 and in the beginning of 2017. We will also further develop the cooperation that started in the states where we have already tested the project, continue to mobilize the members of congress and monitor the generated impacts.
For more information about the SPARC initiative and related projects, please click here.