Cindy Oostvogels – paying it forward

In November 2019 Cindy Oostvogels felt a tiny lump, the size of a frozen pea under her right breast. She booked an appointment with her doctor who recommended a mammogram and ultrasound. Nothing looked suspicious, however they decided to remove it for analysis. In July 2020, she found a new lump under her right nipple. Her doctor ordered a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy.
The country was now in lockdown, and Cindy became very anxious, “Waiting for the results was agony as you can imagine. Will I need chemo? Or radiation? Will I lose my breast or part of it? Do I stay in Cayman if it is cancer, do I go off island?”
In August 2020 Cindy was diagnosed with Hormone positive Breast Cancer in her right breast. She was devastated. but that was just the beginning! The next step was to undergo an MRI and CT Scan. With her insurance benefits exhausted from mammograms, biopsies, and ultrasounds, Cindy was told she would have to pay for these tests herself, totaling almost $8,000.
Cindy’s business had been closed now for 3 months due to Covid, and her savings were depleted as the bills kept coming in.
“I started crying and asking ‘how am I going to pay for this?” Dr. Tanja Ebanks said to write to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society(CICS) for assistance, which was echoed by a friend of mine.”
In less than a week, CICS agreed to cover of the cost of the MRI and CT Scan. The MRI results concluded that Cindy also had cancer in her left breast. She decided to get a double mastectomy. This surgery was covered by her insurance, but subsequent surgeries, check ups, tests, and medications were not. CICS continued to support Cindy, covering her bills throughout this physically and emotionally draining journey.
“All the surgeries were done here on the island at Doctor’s Hospital. I had the comfort of recuperating in my own home which gave me much comfort. [CICS] was with me every step of the way. I have no doubt that I would not be alive today, if it were not for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, with assistance from the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Cindy and friends hosting “Shop for a Cause” at GTYC in aid of CICS

I am healthy and happy thanks to [CICS]. Whatever I can do to assist them raise money or awareness, I’m ready to help! In Feb 2022, I started the Shop for A Cause Yard Sale at the George Town Yacht Club. The CICS and the Breast Cancer Foundation(BCF) were the first charities to receive funds. I’m currently co-organizing a golf Tournament at the Ritz Golf Course in December 2023 to raise money for the BCF.
If anyone you know needs financial assistance for a cancer diagnosis, do not hesitate to contact the Cayman Islands Cancer Society. Early detection saves lives!!”