In the past, people in Lynette Bonar’s Native American community faced a 200–400 mile road trip to the nearest cancer care center. Lynette, a nurse for more than 30 years and a Navajo herself, could not tolerate watching cancer deaths increase among her neighbors while it decreased across much of America. To fix this inequity, in 2019 she launched an effort to bring cancer care to 75,000 tribal members through the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation. The facility’s cancer center offers new opportunities for patients to both work with traditional native-medicine healers and stay close to home while receiving advanced treatments. This has extended the lives of cancer patients in the community and improved their quality of life.
For more remarkable stories from the 2020 Winners of the Cancer Community Awards, visit our Heroes of Cancer Care collection.