I first learned about HPV’s link to cervical cancer when watching television. It was 2006 and I was fresh out of graduate school, seeking employment in the competitive and flaky world of publishing/writing. As I created yet another cover letter, a Gardasil commercial played in the background. Young girls of all races and sizes spoke of cervical cancer and wanting to be “one less.” 80% of cervical cancer can be caused by HPV (the Human Papillomavirus) but this vaccine can prevent women from this horrible and deadly disease.
I took in the facts while I typed, jotting down the name of the vaccine underneath the first paragraph of my cover letter. Then, watching more intently, I learned it was too late for me to receive a vaccine for HPV. Gardasil is the only vaccination for HPV and only administered to females between the ages of 9-26.
I was already 28 years old.
Still, I found that there is hope for cervical cancer patients. There are also ways to prevent cervical cancer regardless of age. I learned all this and more on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, when I attended the LC MAG PARTY for Fashion + Charity at the RS POP Shop in NYC. The event was hosted by Lifestyle and Charity Magazine and Helen Troncoso, who won the title of 2011 Ms. New York Belleza Latina. This exclusive event supported Tamika & Friends, a national non-for-profit organization whose primary mission is to raise awareness about cervical cancer and its link to HPV. Founded in 2005 by cervical cancer survivor Tamika Felder, this amazing network of survivors educates the public about prevention and treatment.
Below is my interview with Ms. New York Belleza Latina 2011 regarding cervical cancer and Tamika and Friends.
As stated by Ms. Helen Troncoso, awareness is necessary in the fight against cervical cancer. Set up an appointment with your gynecologist or with your local free clinic and ask to be tested for all sexually transmitted diseases and infections, including HPV. Discuss methods of prevention, such as the Gardasil and Cervarix vaccines, and next steps if you are diagnosed. Do everything you must do to become “one less” no matter what your age, size, or color.
To learn more about Tamika and Friends, click here. For free STD clinics in the NYC area, visit The New York Department of Health.
Now, without further ado, here are some photos of my fabulous time at RS Pop Shop, supporting this great cause!