National Hispanic Heritage Month

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 14, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BACON. Madam Speaker, I rise today during Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize Carolina Padilla and the Intercultural Senior Center in my district.

Historically, National Hispanic Heritage Month has been a way to appreciate the contributions and influence Hispanic Americans have made to our history, culture, and achievements of the United States. I can think of no better way to recognize the achievements of Hispanic Americans in our district than by recognizing Carolina and the Intercultural Senior Center, which provides language interpretation, cultural insight, community events, as well as social workers, to better connect community members with outside resources.

Carolina, who was born in Guatemala City, immigrated to Omaha, Nebraska, in 1993 with her husband and three children. She then started her career in the United States by spending 12 years working for One World Community Health Center, a nonprofit primary healthcare facility. During her time at One World, she worked in a variety of health departments in both administrative and leadership positions.

Additionally, she worked for Catholic Charities, where she was the director of their Latina Resource Center. In this role, she worked to develop social service programs for women in need of assistance with English as their second language, as well as women facing issues of domestic violence.

During this time, Carolina realized that one segment of the population, the Latino elders, were largely overlooked and underserved. Inspired by her aging family in Guatemala and her need to serve others within her own community, Carolina founded the Intercultural Senior Center in 2009 in the Latino neighborhood of South Omaha. The Intercultural Senior Center, however, has extended much farther than the Latino community as it now welcomes refugee communities, including Sudan, Somalia, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Burma, as well as native English speakers.

Today, the Intercultural Senior Center is a unique place where seniors find enrichment and belonging, regardless of language, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and any other differences that too often create separation and isolation.

As Omaha's population ages and becomes more diverse, Ms. Padilla's mission and the Intercultural Senior Center will continue to embrace the elderly and bring awareness to the community about the aging population.

Congratulations again to Carolina Padilla and the Intercultural Senior Center on this amazing work you are doing within the Omaha community. Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month


Mr. BACON. Madam Speaker, I rise today during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month to recognize women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer who have either survived or, unfortunately, lost their hard- fought battle. A rare but deadly disease, only about 19,880 women will receive a new diagnosis this year; but this past March, our communications director, Danielle Jensen was one of them.

The deadliest of the reproductive cancers, only 20 percent are diagnosed early in stages I or II, with a 5-year survival rate of over 93 percent. Unfortunately, the majority of cases are diagnosed in stages III or IV, and the survival rate can be as low as 30 percent.

The risk of a woman getting ovarian cancer is about 1 in 78 in her lifetime, and it is estimated that 12,810 women will lose their lives to ovarian cancer this year. Fortunately, Danielle was diagnosed at stage II and has recently completed chemotherapy.

There are several factors that can increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Age is the biggest one. Half of all ovarian cancers are found in women 63 years of age and older. Another is if a woman has never carried a pregnancy to full term or had a child after the age of 35. Hormone replacement therapy, a family history of ovarian, breast, or colorectal cancer, or a personal history of breast cancer are also risk factors.

There is no reliable screening or diagnostic test for ovarian cancer, so it is important to know the signs and symptoms, which includes back pain, bloating, frequent urination, feeling full quickly after eating, fatigue, upset stomach, heartburn, or constipation, pelvic or abdominal pain, or changes in the menstrual cycle. While these symptoms are most likely not signs of cancer, they should be of concern if they don't go away after two weeks following normal interventions such as changing diet and exercise. It is because of this that ovarian cancer is often referred to as the silent killer.

There are different treatments for ovarian cancer. Danielle had surgery and she went through six cycles of chemotherapy to kill any cancer cells that may have been left. Some women will also undergo radiation to treat it.

Finally, we are just thankful that Danielle was diagnosed early when she was and is on the path of being a survivor.