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Meet Debbie Stroman of Breast Cancer Angels

Today we’d like to introduce you to Debbie Stroman.

Debbie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Breast Cancer Angels is a small non-profit 5013c organization with a generous group of “Angels” who continue to give monthly dues to assist women who are fighting the fight to beat breast cancer. We are able to help make a difference this way.

20 years ago, Faye Dietiker was diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer. She went through treatment only to discover even those with medical insurance could not afford to pay the co-pays and buy food for their family.

So they would skip the treatment. She shared this with her friends and family. They were shocked at this information and decided to start contributing to the organization she set up known today as Breast Cancer Angels.

As women survive and they stop and realize what a hardship this has to be when you are a single mom or a single woman trying to work and pay bills. We have a large support group that continue giving to others by giving to Breast Cancer Angels.

Our donors see the need and have become Angels or will host a fundraiser for us. This provides the funds we need in order to assist these women while they go through treatment. Single moms sometimes have to make a decision to forgo treatment in order to feed their children. No one should have to make that decision.

Four years ago, a friend of Faye’s let me know that she was looking to cut back and start to train someone to take over for her organization. She wanted her legacy to continue on. I was hired on October 1, as some of you know this is breast cancer month. So I was off and running to try to fill her shoes. Which I will never be able to do.

I have formed relationships with women’s golf leagues, one of my other passions. Since I have become the director we have about 10 leagues hosting Breast Cancer Tournaments and have raised over 100,000. My dream to have them at every golf course in Southern California.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My transition has not been easy. First, I had to learn what breast cancer was all about.

My only family member to have breast cancer was my grandmother. She passed away from this disease when I was 10 years old. I remember we had to be careful when we hugged her and she was always in pain.

So research and speaking with women every day and listening to their trials and tribulations has enlightened me. I hear of new treatments every day or how insurances keep changing and making it so difficult for someone to navigate through the treatment plan that is set up for them.

Personally, I have learned that I have to take care of myself so I have the strength to be able to come in here every day and be able to help them.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Breast Cancer Angels – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Breast Cancer Angels assist individuals while they are going through treatment for breast cancer with everyday needs that we take for granted. Food, gas, rent, utilities.

Breast Cancer Angels provides direct financial assistance for individuals and their families as they go through breast cancer treatment.

100% of all donations go back to the community in which it was raised unless otherwise specified.

Breast Cancer Angels provides clients with the following services to enable them to continue breast cancer treatment:

• Temporary financial assistance to ensure stable housing, transportation, adequate nutrition, utilities and the ability to pay for out of pocket medical expenses during treatment.

• We provide patient navigation to other resources that provide further types of breast cancer support services.

• We provide a social worker to receive compassionate support and mental health assessment & Family Law Attorney for any legal needs.

Most families know that when back to school is coming around you go shopping to make sure your children have new shoes, a backpack and an outfit or two. This is the last thing most of our families are able to do. Then the holiday’s come and how are they going to do Christmas?

We currently are assisting over 130 women a month, $32,000- $42,000 each month.

I am proud to say thanks to our Angels who donate we are able to provide most of them with gift cards for clothing and then for Christmas shopping. We have a party at Christmas and try to give each child 3- 4 presents. Most of the families would leave with the presents not opened. I asked a couple of them why they were not opening their gifts and they stated that these would be the only ones they receive.

What sets us apart from most of the other Breast Cancer Organizations is that we assist directly to the individual. Our quick response time. Then we provide the gift cards, pay the utility bills, pay co-pays, pay for day care while mom is in treatment. We have provided housecleaning, lymphatic massage and much more.

We do not do research or do breast exams. However, we will pay for a second opinion if you are not happy with your first exam. We provide a lawyer for single moms who are stage IV and have to make final arrangements for their children. We provide a social worker for those people who need to talk to someone and we try to direct them to other services whenever we can.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Our plans for the future are to make sure that Breast Cancer Angels will be around for a long time.

Currently we have set up an endowment for people who may want to contribute to ensure that we will be here… We hope people will want to contribute to this in order to continue to keep the foundation growing.

Our dream list:

We are working towards obtaining corporate sponsorship and to bring awareness to the community who we are and what we do.

My dream is to have every golf course in Southern California to host a breast cancer tournament.

We would like to see a shoe manufacturing company provide shoes for our children.

I am not sure I will see the big changes in my time but I am trying to build a firm foundation for us to build on and to continue to grow.

Faye and I have talked about how could we have chapters out in other states. That would be great to be able to help more women as they struggle with how to survive this disease.

Pricing:

  • $20.00 month Angels Dues
  • $20.00 Fast Food cards for Teens so they can be normal and eat out with friends

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.breastcancerangels.org
  • Phone: 714.898.8900
  • Email: debbie@breastcancerangels.org
  • Instagram: breastcancerangels
  • Facebook: Breast Cancer Angels
  • Twitter: bcangels

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Jennifer Hillman

    October 11, 2017 at 17:35

    Thank you so much for featuring this excellent charity. Debra Stroman gives her LIFE to the Breast Cancer Angels. She is truly an amazing woman, backing an AMAZING organization that REALLY gets to help the people who need it.

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