Liliana Alatorre says she experienced “truly unconditional love” about three years ago, when she and her daughter spent their first Christmas in Oakdale.
She was at the Transition house, a part of Haven Women’s Center for domestic violence victims. She was attending a nutrition class at the Family Support Network office in Oakdale, and she signed up for a program designed to help less-fortunate families over the holidays.
“Then, about 10 people showed up at my door with a huge Christmas tree and gifts that had been donated,” Alatorre said in Spanish with a huge smile while recalling the moment. “These people didn’t even know me, and here they were. It was just me and my daughter, but we really felt like part of a bigger family that day.”
She and her daughter, Krishna Garcia Alatorre, are thriving in Oakdale, and a lot of it is because of the help she’s received from the Family Support Network. Krishna participated in the network’s kindergarten-preparation classes; she’s 6 years old now and doing well in first grade.
Her mom participated a parenting course and in classes to improve her English, which was just some of the help she received. Alatorre, 40, has since been diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s received treatment and now wants to give back, just like the Family Support Network helped her.
With help from the American Cancer Society, Alatorre is working to start a support group for Spanish-speaking women diagnosed with cancer. She also wants to raise awareness, informing the public that early detection of cancer can increase the chance of survival.