SUMMIT, NJ - Dora Arias, founder and executive director of Curémonos, has been named as the sixth New Jersey Hero of 2014 by Mary Pat Christie, wife of Governor Chris Christie. Arias is the 30th such individual to be honored since Mrs. Christie began the program four years ago.
Arias, a resident of Mountainside, was recognized for her efforts to bring breast cancer awareness and prevention to minority communities. Since its inception, Curémonos has educated more than 2,000 women on the importance of breast health and early detection of breast cancer, while serving more than 300 medically underserved and underinsured women. Clients are served bilingually, biculturally, and free of charge.
As a Latina breast cancer survivor, Arias recognized the challenges women who speak English as a second language face in understanding their diagnosis and treatment options. After her recovery, she founded Curémonos, a grassroots community-based organization, to provide education, advocacy, and support to medically underserved women dealing with breast cancer.
In addition, the organization has educated more than 75 healthcare providers on the cultural aspects and needs of Latinas affected by breast cancer, established a support group in Spanish at the Summit YMCA, and developed various one-day programs to help breast cancer patients and their families during their time of need.
New Jersey Heroes is an initiative of Mrs. Christie’s that showcases the positive and unique ways people and organizations are impacting New Jersey and their communities.
Among the political dignitaries present at the event, held at Sofi's Color Salon in Summit, were State Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz, Summit Mayor Ellen Dickson, and Summit Common Council Members Al Dill, Sandra Lizza, and Mike McTernan.