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  Singer-Songwriter, Soraya, Offers Message Of Hope To Women With Breast Cancer

A voice of hope and survival for women with breast cancer, Latina singer-songwriter Soraya is using her powerful voice for more than just hit records.  As an advocate for breast cancer support and education, she is using her personal experiences to inspire women and show them that they can live with their disease.

Soraya, a successful star on the Latin music scene, had two No. 1 songs on Billboard's Latin Pop Airplay charts and was touring with other renowned artists like Sting, Alanis Morissette and Natalie Merchant.  In the year 2000, just two weeks before embarking on an international tour to promote her third album, she discovered a lump in her breast while conducting a routine self-exam.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 31.  Having lost her mother, grandmother and maternal aunt to breast cancer, Soraya knew better than most that she needed to fight her disease with everything she had.  Soraya focused her attention on her treatment and faced her condition with the help of her medical team, family, friends, faith and her music. 

"Women need to know that breast cancer is not the death sentence it once was," said Soraya.  "Breast cancer awareness, education and medicine have come a long way.  The options available helped me battle breast cancer.  My medical team and I decided on a holistic treatment approach that included dietary changes, radiation, surgery and a chemotherapy regimen that included the drug Taxotere, all of which contributed to my recovery."

Today, Soraya is feeling stronger than ever and the singer is using her story of survival to inspire other women who face a breast cancer diagnosis.  She recently wrote and recorded No One Else, a song that chronicles her emotional and physical journey fighting breast cancer.  As an extension of her own breast cancer mission, Soraya is also spreading the word about "Living With It", a unique support program that provides both newly diagnosed and recurrent breast cancer patients with personalized information on treatment options, coping strategies and financial advice. Soraya has also made her song No One Else exclusively available through www.livingwithit.org.  Visitors can download the single for free and each time Aventis Oncology will donate $1 towards Latina and Hispanic breast cancer educational programs.

 "My message for women facing breast cancer is to never give up hope.  I want them to know that seeking out the right support was a part of my strength and healing," said Soraya.  "Spreading the word about 'Living With It' is part of my mission, because the program complements the messages in my music - supporting the whole woman, not just the breast cancer patient." 

Women can access the "Living With It" program on the Internet at www.livingwithit.org, or by calling 1-877LIVINGWITHIT.  In addition to easy-to-understand, comprehensive information that can aid in the coping process on a variety of topics, women who enroll in the "Living With It" program can take advantage of the special offers including Eating Well Through Cancer, a cookbook that offers recipes and tips specifically aimed at the nutritional needs of cancer patients.  Other informational books and videos on breast cancer support are also available. 

"I strongly encourage women who are facing breast cancer to take charge of their breast health and build a strong support network," said Soraya.  "Programs such as 'Living With It' are valuable resources in the fight against breast cancer and the journey towards recovery."  

In the fall of 2002, Soraya went back to the studio and began recording her fourth album, Soraya.  Recently released on EMI Latin, Soraya features songs in both Spanish and English - songs so intimate and energized they naturally form an album that can't help but communicate how the singer is feeling today: positive, empowered, energetic and dedicated, both to her music and her message that women with cancer today may live with it and survive.

Click here for more information on breast health.

7/27/2003  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.