(WJLA) - Just a few short months ago, 40-year-old Galai Enkhtsatsral found out she had breast cancer.
Enkhtsatsral is from Mongolia - she doesn't speak English. Her daughter Enji translates for her.
Enkhtsatsral said when she first got her diagnosis, she couldn't even think about how serious it was.
"I was stuck. I didn't know it was going to happen to me," she recalled. "And I didn't have any insurance."
Enkhtsatsral said, truly, it wasn't the cancer that worried her - it was how she was going to pay for her treatment.
Officials at the Health Department suggested she apply for help from the Arlington Free Clinic, and though Enkhtsatsral thought it was a long shot, she did it anyway.
A few weeks later, the phone rang.
"When I heard that this clinic was able to pay for all my needs and all my surgery...I did not know what to say," she recalled.
Since 2002, the Arlington Free Clinic has received money from organizations like Susan G. Komen. The clinic says the funding has helped hundreds of women like Enkhtsatsral get help with things like mammograms and surgery.
Many of the clinic's patients are non-English speakers like her, so getting the word out about breast cancer can be difficult, said Martha Ware, the clinic's nurse manager.
"We can put signs on buses, but if you can't read them, it's a huge barrier," Ware explained.
Enkhtsatsral said that, luckily for her, kindness and generosity are the same in every language, and she's so thankful for everything the clinic has done for her.
"The tears I cry right now are tears of joy," she told ABC7. "No words can describe how thankful I am."
Enkhtsatsral is now back at home resting up, and said she looks forward to making a full recovery so she can volunteer at the clinic, and walk in the Race for the Cure.
The state-owned coal company Shenhua, that is being blamed for water shortages and the release of toxic industrial wastewater, finally ceded to Greenpeace East Asia’s advocacy efforts by announcing it will halt water extraction and start implementing eco-friendly measures.
Below is an article published by Coal Guru:
The Shenhua Group is to stop extracting groundwater for their flagship coal to liquid project in Inner Mongolia’s Ordos an area struggling with severe water shortages affecting farmers and herders.
The state-owned Chinese coal company made their announcement during a meeting with Greenpeace East Asia, saying the plan was already underway. Regarding Shenhua’s dumping of toxic industrial wastewater in Ordos, which Greenpeace exposed in July 2013, they said they had made major investments in wastewater treatment facilities to guarantee improvement.
On July 23 2013, Greenpeace East Asia revealed that Shenhua was overexploiting groundwater in the Haolebaoji basin in Ordos, an area of fragile ecology. The organisation also exposed Shenhua’s illegal dumping of toxic industrial wastewater, highlighting the severe water intensity of the coal industry and the urgent need to curb its expansion in China’s arid provinces.
Mr Li Yan head of Greenpeace East Asia’s Climate and Energy Campaign said that “Greenpeace appreciates this move by the Shenhua Group, as they recognise that the water situation with the coal industry remains very challenging in western China. It takes serious courage for a billion dollar plant to switch water plans in the middle of their first decade.”
Li Yan said that “Right now, water resources in the area are still being exploited. The next step for Shenhua is to deliver their action plan and stop the damage as early as possible, while avoiding new environmental problems along the way.”
He said that “Shenhua’s wise decision once again reaffirms that the water situation with the coal industry remains very challenging in western China. It is an alarm bell for other companies queuing up to get approval for their new coal to gas or coal to liquid plants in Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shanxi and elsewhere. If the industry’s top company has failed to secure water, the others may want to recalculate their own risk evaluation.”
The move comes after 8 months of campaigning by Greenpeace East Asia and other Chinese NGOs. This is the first time Greenpeace has challenged a State Owned-Enterprise in China. Greenpeace hopes that other coal companies will follow Shenhua’s lead and regulators will be able to implement much needed water policies.