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ProsperRosa program provides resources for underserved breast cancer community

Angela Underwood

Mar 28, 2024

Thriving Pink, Yolo County’s resource for fighting and surviving breast cancer patients, works hard to darken the shade of the color associated with the widespread disease.

“A breast cancer diagnosis can carry significant physical, emotional, spiritual and financial challenges,” Joni Rubin, board of directors’ chair, said. “Our vision at Thriving Pink is that no one will go through breast cancer alone.”


Citing high breast cancer statistics, with one in eight women diagnosed, Rubin said community support and resources are so important throughout the breast cancer journey.  

According to Rubin, many patients from Winters receive the group’s Granting Pink financial grants, adding, “We want to make sure that anyone who might benefit from our support knows about us and is able to participate in our no-cost programs and services.”

Educational workshops, monthly walks, and the Pink Peer Mentorship program also benefit Winter’s residents. Thriving Pink’s ProseROSA program supports the Latina and Spanish-speaking communities in Winters with outreach programs virtually for Yolo County’s rural communities. 

“Each month, we have two educational workshops on Zoom that are open to anyone,” Rubin said, adding topics include cancer treatment developments and post-healing well-being. “We have had people join us from as far away as New York and Canada.”

Surgeon and ProspeROSA Chair Alicia Silva, who grew up in Woodland, said she is passionate about providing support and education to the Hispanic/Latino community facing breast cancer.

“Being diagnosed with breast cancer is difficult enough without added challenges of language and limited resources,” Silva said. “We aim to help Latinas and their families through their journey with breast cancer.”

The group recently added a monthly “Cafecito” and Walk in Woodland for Spanish-speaking thrivers to supplement monthly walks in the Davis area, as well as providing outreach to the incorporated and rural community. of Western Yolo.  

“We do talks about breast cancer, early detection and risk reduction throughout the County for local groups such as RISE in Esparto and Empower Yolo in Knights Landing,” Rubin said. “We also table at local community events, such as the Almond Festival in Esparto.”

Breast cancer survivor Maria Del Rio, a mental health clinician, volunteers with ProspeRosa, detailing how “a breast cancer diagnosis is, or any cancer diagnosis, feels like someone pulled a rug from under you.”

“Especially when you are 27 years old and have a healthy diet and exercise regime,” Del Rio said of her own story. I think when you get a diagnosis, you just want to survive, and you get in this survival mode that you need to survive to watch your child grow up and be present for her.”

Del Rio said she is still learning from breast cancer as a survivor, calling it a lifetime process.

“We learn to live a new normal and be an advocate for women’s health and breast cancer awareness. I think that while I was undergoing chemotherapy what helped me was my faith, family, and determination that I was going to get through chemotherapy and not let it stop me.”

Del Rio says she volunteers to give back to the Hispanic/Latino community and be part of a great team providing advocacy, education, empowerment, and community healing.

“The Latino Community in Woodland is so rich in culture and togetherness,” Del Rio said. “It is nice to see the community support each other in moments of hardship.”

Del Rio hopes to grow with ProspeRosa’s Spanish-speaking community. 

“It is so important for all communities to have access to services and thrive regardless of their background,” Del Rio said. 

Also a survivor, Rubin said volunteering and sharing one’s breast cancer journey is a part of the healing process. Diagnosed with stage three breast cancer 15 years ago, Rubin said, “Connecting with people who had walked this journey ahead of me really helped me through my treatment, and now I am able to do the same for others.”

“It allows me to pay it forward,” Rubin said.

Last fall, the group worked with the two Winters High School seniors on their Capstone project to raise community awareness for early screening. 

“During October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we participated in the Winters High School Pinkout football game, did downtown business outreach, and received a proclamation from the Winters City Council,” Rubin said. 

Thriving Pink supported two Winters High School seniors in the Capstone project to bring awareness to breast cancer through a Pink Out football game.

The group also delivers comfort bags for newly diagnosed patients to all local healthcare systems, including Winters Health Care. 

“Winters Health Care is also one of our partners, along with UC Davis, in a grant we received from Common Spirit Health that brings breast cancer outreach and education to the Latina community, including education on genetic risk and support for genetic testing,” Rubin said.  

The group is also a member of the Winters Chamber of Commerce and is working to partner with the Winters Downtown Business Association. 

“We are always open to additional ways that we can get out the word about Thriving Pink in order to support anyone in Winters experiencing breast cancer at any point in their journey,” Rubin said. 

For more information about Thriving Pink and the ProsperRosa program, visit

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