Meet the Patient: Betty Alvarez

Betty Alvarez, a 42 year-old woman who moved from Huancayo city 14 years ago, now lives in Lima with her husband Santiago Ochoa.

Although she is the mother of 3 grown up children, she still works in a club for mothers in her community to support them.

At the present time, Betty is a follow-up patient with MEDLIFE. Her story started 6 years ago when she suspected that she had a problem in her right breast. However, due to her lack of income, she couldn’t go to her first doctor’s appointment until 3 years later.


Betty had a calculus operation on her right breast, but after a while she developed extreme pain in her breast, so doctors decided to take an ultrasound and the results came up with cysts. She started a treatment for the cysts but time went on and the pain did not go away, so she decided to take a mammogram but the results were the same: cysts.

A short time after this, in December of 2014, MEDLIFE was holding a mobile clinic in her community. Betty attended the clinic, and that was when the OB doctor found a lump not only in her right breast, but also in her left one. “There in the medical clinic they checked me out and they told me that what I had was not a cyst, what I had was a tumor and that I had it in both of my breasts, the right and the left one”.

A few days after the clinic, Betty received a call from MEDLIFE nurses who were calling in order to take her to the doctor. She had to take a new Ultrasound to confirm that what she had was not a cyst but something that needed an intense treatment. “They told me that they were going to help me, and they did.  They called me, and since that moment, they’ve been helping me”.

When the results came, it showed that what Betty had was a medium sized tumor in her right breast and a small one in her left one. With these results, at her next appointment, Betty had a biopsy exam so that the doctors could know if the tumor was benign or malignant. 


Betty tells us that before becoming a MEDLIFE follow-up patient, she had problems getting an appointment. Although she had SIS insurance that covered her appointments and exams, it was very difficult to get an appointment. “You have to be there one day before, you have to get there at dawn to get an appointment. I like MEDLIFE because it’s fast.  They call you, they accompany you on your appointments, they are here with me.”

At the moment, Betty is calm.  She is waiting for the biopsy results and she says that she is going to follow the doctor’s instructions for her treatment. She advises women to attend the medical clinics that MEDLIFE holds in different communities, and suggests that if MEDLIFE calls you, you should be open to the communication, because you don’t have to look for them, they look for you.


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

Testimonial Quote

Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

Testimonial Quote

Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

Testimonial Quote

Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

Testimonial Quote

David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

Testimonial Quote

Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

Testimonial Quote

Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

Testimonial Quote

Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

Testimonial Quote

Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

Testimonial Quote

Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

Testimonial Quote

Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

Testimonial Quote

Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

Testimonial Quote

Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.