Natasha is a 31-year-old woman who was first diagnosed with metastatic Stage 4 breast cancer in 2015 while she was working in Russia.
Natasha was referred to Shanti for support in her native language and matched with our Russian speaking bilingual Care Navigator, Kristina Orlovsky. Natasha and Kristina have developed a great rapport and a trusting relationship. Natasha began undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatment at one of the large cancer centers in San Francisco, with no edn date in sight. She experiences nausea and fatique from her treatment.
She has been able to share her fears and concerns, as well as moments of success and laughter. Kristina worked with Natasha's treatment team to collaborate on a Care Navigation Plan based upon identified needs. When treatment became too taxing for Natasha to continue working, her Care Navigator began helping her find financial resources. Kristina helped her apply for support from Project Open Hand, which provides her weekly groceries. Kristina also provides her with Taxi vouchers every month to help her get to her appointments. She helped Natasha complete applications for Supplemental Security Income and Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants; unfortunately both of these applications were denied.
She currenly lives in San Francisco's Outer Sunset neighborhood with her husband and 9 year-old son. She works in a Russian speaking school in San Francisco through a Public assistance program and she also takes English classes. Her English speaking ability is very low.
Kristina has been helping Natasha find more afforable housing, and as a result, she is currently on a wait list for supportive housing.
Her Care Navigator has also assisted Natasha with strategy sessions about how she can improve her financial sustainability in 2017. They identified several possibilities including job placement organizations and local businesses that speak Russian.
By listening to Natasha's story and experience in Eastern Europe as well as her life in the U.S., Kristina has been able to provide emotional support that is tailored to Natasha's needs. During their work together, Kristina uses humor to provide levity and she offers compassion to increase Natasha's peace of mind. Because of this, Natasha has a positive outlook on life despite her challenges, that include adapting to life in the U.S, her illness, her financial difficulties and her worries for her family.