CUMC’s Department of Surgery Blog Profiles Our Very Own Eileen Z. Fuentes & Her Women’s Wellness Series

Women’s Wellness Series

by Columbia Surgery

Making a difference in the lives of women with breast cancer.

It’s one thing to know that we ought to eat a healthy diet and exercise. It’s another to change our lifestyle and put that knowledge into daily practice. And it’s yet another entirely to inspire others to do the same in their lives. But Eileen Z. Fuentes has managed to accomplish all of the above through the Women’s Wellness Series, an inspiring and unique program aimed at helping women with breast cancer to become as healthy as they can possibly be.

When she became a breast cancer patient three years ago, Eileen – an employee of Columbia University — suddenly discovered what it was like to be on the patient’s side of the desk. She recalls that while the care she received at the Breast Surgery Section was wonderful, certain elements of support fell short, even in this world-class institution, and even for a knowledgeable, proactive person like herself. “I wanted to know what else I could do to help recover from breast cancer besides follow the treatments that my doctor advised,” she says. “I knew there had to be things I could do in addition to what my doctors prescribed – things to help become stronger, healthier, or things to alleviate side effects of my treatments, for instance.” She also realized that for patients whose first language was not English, the challenges were even more pronounced. In a personal quest to meet these needs, Eileen independently completed trainings in holistic nutrition and lifestyle modifications, including eating to beat cancer. She also pursued training in patient navigation, with an eye toward helping others by bridging some of the gaps she faced as a patient.

Read more: Women’s Wellness Series | Columbia University Department of Surgery Blog.

Also, please see below for the awesome video done by Columbia University Journalism graduate Linda Abi Assi.

From illness to wellness from Linda Abi Assi on Vimeo.

Click here for a comprehensive list of Eileen’s The Elixir series.

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