DENVER (CBS4) – A Colorado lawmaker is fighting to continue breast cancer screening and treatment for low income women.

“On Sept. 21, 1988, I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Colorado Rep. Dianne Primavera.

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The odds weren’t good, and it was a low point in her life.

“I was 38 at the time and I was told by every doctor I talked to I wouldn’t live past five years,” said Primavera.

However, she beat the odds and proved the doctors wrong.

“Today is my birthday. I’ve lived 20 years beyond what the doctors felt I had in terms of lifespan,” said Primavera.

She has survived a total of four cancers.

“I have had cervical cancer, breast cancer, basal cell and squamous cell cancer,” said Primavera.

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Primavera wants to extend the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program. She wants five more years of coverage for low income women.

“A world without breast cancer has been a passion of mine for years,” said Primavera.

She testified before the Public Health Care & Human Services Committee she chairs on Tuesday, saying the program means life or death for women in treatment now and those who still can’t afford insurance.

The bill was passed by the committee.

“Every day I walk into this capitol I feel like it’s another day I can use my life to help others,” said Primavera.

Now the bill will go before the House Appropriations Committee.

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The program would be funded from the sale of breast cancer awareness license plates and interest from tobacco settlement money.