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New Group Available to Help Women with Breast, Gynecologic Cancer at SLU Cancer Center

Saint Louis University Cancer Center and SSM Health are teaming up with Pink Ribbon Girls, a new effort to help women fighting breast and gynecologic cancers.

Pink Ribbon Girls

Pictured, from left, are Theresa Schwartz, M.D., a SLUCare breast surgeon; Kay Quinn, KSDK reporter/anchor; and Heather Salazar, founder of Pink Ribbon Girls. Submitted photo.

For women facing a diagnosis of breast or gynecologic cancer, worry about transportation and household chores can add another layer of stress to an already difficult time. Pink Ribbon Girls (PRG), a non-profit which helps with meals, transportation and housecleaning, is now in St. Louis with the support of Saint Louis University Cancer Center and SSM Health.  

PRG began in Dayton, Ohio in 2013. Founder Heather Salazar, a breast cancer survivor and former social worker, knew firsthand how helpful it can be to have assistance with every day chores.

“Chemotherapy is exhausting emotionally and physically,” Salazar said.

PRG provides free direct service to those with breast and gynecological cancers. There are no age or income restrictions. Services include:

Since its founding, PRG has helped thousands in Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus, and projects that volunteers will serve more than 90,000 meals, provide 2,500 house cleanings and give 3,000 rides to women this year.

When PRG became interested in St. Louis as its first out-of-state expansion, Theresa Schwartz, M.D., brought the opportunity to SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital and the SLU Cancer Center. Schwartz, a SLUCare breast surgeon and associate professor of surgery at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, knew the value this could bring to her patients.

“We are fortunate there are groups who do help, but this offers a new level of support,” said Schwartz.

Schnucks is providing food for meals and Uber Health is assisting with transportation.

Starting this week, any woman in the St. Louis area going through breast or gynecologic cancer treatment can visit the Pink Ribbon Girls website and click “Get Support” for access to these services. The organization is also looking for people interested in volunteering.

While the SLU Cancer Center is a partner of PRG, this opportunity is not limited to Cancer Center patients. Any woman in the greater St. Louis area with breast or gynecologic cancer is eligible.