Gala Montes ambassador against breast cancer

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When Gala Montes was 15 years old, her mother, Crista Montes, was diagnosed with breast cancer; she had a mastectomy. This situation changed the actress's world and, later, both decided to share this experience. This is how Gala came to the Breast Cancer Foundation (Fucam), of which today, International Day for the Fight against Breast Cancer, she is an ambassador.

"It was very hard. I was very young and you never expect it, you are never prepared for an illness like this until you have to face it. There is still havoc, because, at that time, I did not know that I needed psychological care, which is very important in this process, both for patients and for the patients' families.

“I would have liked to have the information that I have today and the maturity to go to a self-help group or a psychologist, to talk about mental and emotional health, which also has to be encouraged in these cases and that today Fucam also covers, because It is incredible how the body can react to a stable and accompanied mind.

“It has been a bittersweet path, because, just as it made us suffer a lot, it also gave us a lot of learning, strength, and things happen for a reason. We have been able to help many people thanks to this and I want to do it for the rest of my life: pass the message to the generations that follow me and, through my mother's case, be able to save lives, because in the end, you are telling people who are cared for and that is our greatest gift,” said Gala Montes in an interview with Excelsior.

“More than seven thousand women die each year due to late diagnoses. It is still taboo to talk about breasts and we need a lot of information and empathy. If we were more empathetic and united, we would achieve many things. I started helping Fucam, because my mother was a patient on two occasions. I experienced very closely what it is like to have a family member be a patient of this foundation and see that they treat the women as if they were their mothers.

“It was my mother who motivated me to approach the founders to be an ambassador and thus, to young women, because cancer does not discriminate against age. My mother, thanks to the fact that she signed up for Fucam and attended her annual consultations, was able to detect the cancer. If it had taken longer, perhaps it would not be curable. Cancer does not mean death, as long as it is detected in time, through a mammogram. In my case, I am the daughter of a patient, I do monthly ultrasounds and self-examinations. You have to be attentive to the alerts,” she highlighted.

For Gala, it is important to talk about the issue, especially in a world in which the beauty industry subjects women to following certain stereotypes.

“Having your breast removed is quite hard, that's why we have to talk about mental and emotional health. Two years after this happened to my mother, she had a completely different cancer, but again she caught it at a good stage, they gave her chemotherapy and she had another operation at Fucam, which is a non-profit organization. I owe a lot to the foundation, I owe my mother's health and I will be eternally grateful, in addition to the fact that they named me their official ambassador.

The actress, star of films such as Even the mother of Mother's Day! and Gringahighlighted that she managed to make a network of strong women, who were on the same path.

“My job at Fucam is to generate various connections. It is difficult and uncomfortable for people, but it is about joining forces and making awareness month all year round, to save lives. What I do is invite people to follow the foundation, to channel them. Spreading and donating is a help. We do not have to wait for our turn to help, but we have to do it as a habit. The best example is the miracle of being alive,” she said.

Montes recalled, with gratitude, that a few months ago his mother celebrated five years of having finished her cancer treatment and even published it on social networks: “Seeing my mother without hair has been one of the most difficult things I have ever gone through.” past... but, without a doubt, his illness shook my staleness and taught me what it means to live. Every time I feel like I'm losing my way, I remember that we have to live in the present and be grateful for our health, because if you have it, everything, absolutely everything, has a solution."

“Sometimes we get angry about things that are not in our control, so we don't have to wait for something like that to happen to enjoy life and do it the way we want,” he concluded.

Important to talk about mental health

Gala Montes emphasized talking about mental and emotional health. She had to do it when she left the reality show The Islandafter an anxiety problem, which required all his attention.

“If you are not well, no one can be well in your house and things do not go well either. You have to start working with yourself, take small steps in this search for peace.

“I have always been a very anxious person. It's not something that has happened to me in The island, but it happens to me constantly. It is not bad if we know how to channel it and become aware of it.

"In The island You are on the edge, on the limit, with a basic need that is food. It was an interesting exercise, but I decided to take a step back and quit, because it wasn't doing me any good. I tried many times, for more than 30 days, but I left because I know what my limits are and it was more pain, stress and anxiety. It is important to talk about it, because it is always valid to ask for help, whether in the face of pain for a partner, a job or a home,” said Gala Montes.

Nancy Mendez C.

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