The recipient of the Barbara Brenner Breast Cancer Activist Scholarship for 2019 is Blandina Khondowe.
Blandina is a former Miss Malawi and a two-time breast cancer survivor passionate about reducing cancer prevalence and deaths through aggressive awareness.
She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and later in 2017. She is a passionate breast cancer advocate through initiatives she founded – Think Pink Malawi (in 2013) and later, Hope for Cancer foundation (in 2015). Through the initiatives, she has directly impacted over 10,000 people with cancer awareness and screenings more than any campaign in her country.
She is also a Cancer Educative Columnist in one of the main print media with readership of more than 500,000.
Among other works, she was part of a team that coordinated the publishing of “Breast Cancer screening in Low – and Middle – Income Countries: A perspective from Malawi”; published in the Journal of Global Oncology.
She greatly empathizes with the less privileged and marginalized who continue to struggle to access the right information, diagnostics and treatment of breast cancer. She believes that the most effective way to reduce breast cancer fatalities and see many women survive the disease in Malawi is by raising awareness and advocating for complete treatment.