Many women have used Women's Way to get tested for cervical and breast cancer. Read how each woman's story is unique.
Pride for Her People Prompts Nurse To Spread Screening Awareness
If you are female and you are near, you probably will have Marsha Blueshield bending your ear. Marsha, a nurse for 25 years with the Spirit Lake Tribe, knows how important breast and cervical cancer screenings are. She takes every opportunity to talk about them. “I’ve had several members of my family who have died from breast and cervical cancer. I have four sisters and my mom and I never let up on them to get in and get checked,” Marsha said. “They get a little tired of me, but I never let up. I go for it!”
As a mother of three, a grandmother of four, and an elder with the Spirit Lake Sioux Nation, Marsha knows that taking care of herself is important to those around her. Part of taking care of herself is making sure she gets regular mammograms and Pap tests. As a traveling nurse for the Spirit Lake Tribe Health Tracks program, Marsha has the opportunity to meet and encourage women to take time for regular breast and cervical cancer screenings. “A lot of people think we get all of our health care and dental paid for, but it isn’t true. I have insurance, but if I need to go to any other clinic than Fort Totten, then I have to pay for it myself,” Marsha said. “I think Women's Way is wonderful. I’ve seen what Women's Way can do. I’ve seen what misery cancer can cause, and I want everyone to get screened,” Marsha said.
Marsha understands that some Native women don’t get screened because they don’t like to see male doctors. Marsha believes so strongly in regular mammograms and Pap tests, she recently told a friend that she needed to get screened despite her embarrassment. “The good cells could be being gobbled up by the cancer cells and you are saying you’re too embarrassed? I asked her, ‘Are you going to deprive your children and grandchildren of your love because you are too embarrassed?” Marsha said. Her friend went in for her screenings.