LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Many people lost healthcare coverage during the pandemic and still don’t have the insurance they need, especially if they’re facing a life-threatening disease.

The Red Rose program is a local, free resource for breast cancer patients in July’s Buddy Check report.

“It saved my life. It saved my life. I honestly don’t know where I would be without it.”

Bess Norris was mid-way through her breast cancer treatment and has been grateful to the Engelstad Foundation Red Rose Program for bringing her this far.

“Not having to worry about ‘Can I pay my next doctor’s visit?’ ‘Is my next surgery covered?’ that alone takes ginormous stress off of you,” Norris told 8 News Now.

Red Rose stands for Responsible Early Detection. The program, through Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican, serves uninsured, under-insured, and undocumented clients.

“We also provide ultrasound, biopsies, and mammograms,” said Luz Castro. “a full spectrum of breast cancer screening for women and men at no cost.”

“I was approved within a week, had my first surgery maybe ten days later,” explained Norris. “Now I’m on to my fourth surgery.”

Norris was one of more than 7 thousand patients Red Rose has helped with screenings, clinical breast exams, mammograms, ultrasounds, surgical consultations, and biopsies. To her, the program is a lifeline.

“It’s just so much. You try to stay healthy and positive and you have all these things in life to be grateful for. Then it’s just one surgery after another and your body is just tired.”

Norris will undergo a double mastectomy this week. It’s her fourth surgery in eight weeks to try and beat breast cancer and she’s had a team supporting her all the way.

“I wouldn’t be here without Red Rose,” said Norris. “I wouldn’t. Nothing would even be possible without them.”

To see if you qualify, contact the Red Rose Program at St. Rose Dominican at 702-620-7858 or by visiting their website. You can get a preventative exam for free with no need for medical insurance or proof of residency. Bilingual services are also available.