January 17, 2017

January 17, 2017

Her life after cervical cancer: Survivor shares advocacy journey 
Share information about cervical cancer for awareness month 
Learn more about the HPV vaccine and share SGO video
Take part in Alaskan weekend full of education, music and the arts
More Survivors Courses planned throughout the country

Her life after cervical cancer: Survivor shares advocacy journey

Cervical Cancer Awarenss MonthAfter a diagnosis of cervical cancer in 2014, Jennie Elms decided to devote her time and energy to the cause when she realized the lack of public awareness and survivor support.

“I realized this [cervical cancer] was something no one was talking about,” she said.  Quickly, Elms decided to “‘out”‘ her cervical cancer diagnosis publicly through Facebook and eventually her own blog called My Life After Cervical Cancer.

In each post, she shares her personal experiences and provides valuable information about this disease.For the last three years, Elms also attended and fund raised at the Foundation for Women’s Cancer’s National Race to End Women’s Cancer and she is involved with the non-profit organization, Cervivor, focused on cervical cancer education and advocacy. She also has served on the race’s host committee for the last two years.

“I stopped being embarrassed about any of it,” Elms said. “Now, I talk about my vagina and my cancer experience all the time.” Elms said the connection between HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, and cervical cancer makes many women ashamed and embarrassed to share their diagnosis with others.

“The more we talk about it the more we overcome the sense of shame,” she said. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter when you become sexually active or how many sexual partners you had. No woman or person deserves to get cancer for any reason at all.”

After watching several friends die from cervical cancer, Elms does not want to see anyone else experience the hurt and pain. “It is not something I want any woman to go through in any way, shape or fashion,” she said. Her determination to never experience the sadness and hurt from watching another friend die from cervical cancer is why Elms says advocacy is essential to her life.

Starting in 2014, Elms attended the National Race to End Women’s Cancer to network with other women. She discovered the race from her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer two months before her. “We went through the cancer journey together,” she said.

For Elms, the race became a way to honor a beloved friend, Melissa McGroerty Fisher, after she passed away from cervical cancer in 2015.

Elms met Melissa online in a cancer support group on Facebook and the two connected and supported each other in their cancer journeys. “Melissa and I were incredibly close,” she said. “We called each other cancer besties,” she said. After Melissa died, Elms said she wanted to honor her death and she helped raise $5,000 in her honor at the race.

“Melissa is one of the most amazing people that I ever had the honor of knowing in my entire life,” she said.

For Elms, the race is a time for survivors to come together and support each other. “These women are taking back their power that cancer stripped them of,” she said.

Elms continues to bring awareness about some of the most important topics in cervical cancer especially the importance of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.  She has vaccinated her own son too after going through her ordeal.

“We could be the last generation of women with cervical cancer if every parent vaccinated their children, boys and girls,” she said. For more information about Elms’ story, go to her blog. Check out a interview of Elms at the National Race to End Women’s Cancer.

Share information about cervical cancer for awareness month

January_cervical_instagram

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, a time to share the stories of cervical cancer survivors, learn more about the disease symptoms, and emphasize the importance of prevention and early detection.

Throughout the month, the Foundation is sharing facts through social media and the FWC website about cervical cancer risk factors, cervical cancer and the virus that causes this disease — HPV — and available screening tests.In the last 40 years, cervical cancer deaths have decreased by more than 50 percent in the United States.

Unfortunately, in 2017, the American Cancer Society estimated that close to 13,000 individuals will still be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Read the latest information and share on FWC social media channels to educate others about cervical cancer prevention today!

Learn more about HPV vaccine and share SGO video

Boys HPV_2

 

In honor of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, The Foundation for Women’s Cancer is sharing a video produced by the Society of Gynecology Oncology on the HPV vaccine.
The video focuses on the need for young adults and parents to ask about the vaccine for HPV (human papillomavirus), a common virus that causes a number of different cancers, including cervical cancer.

The two-minute video encourages parents to get their children the vaccine. Girls can receive the vaccine between the ages of 9 and 26, with the recommended age of 11. Boys can receive the vaccine between ages 11 and 22.Help others “Be in the Know about the HPV vaccine” by sharing the video on your social media channels today!

Take part in Alaskan weekend full of education, music and the arts

DC courses

Registration is open for the free Gynecologic Cancer Survivors Course Weekend at the Providence Cancer Center at 3851 Piper Street in Anchorage, AK, from Feb. 3-5.
The free Survivors Course weekend in Alaska not only provides two days filled with valuable information, but it is also time for survivors to enjoy a weekend full of music and the arts.
The weekend kicks off with the First Friday Art Showcase, featuring artists whose lives have been touched by cancer. Events run from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, at the Blue Hollomon Gallery at 3555 Arctic Boulevard in Anchorage.

On Saturday night, “A Dance Like Barb Rhythm Heals Concert,” featuring the return of the band SHEL will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. on evening of Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Tap Root Public House, 3300 Spenard Road, Anchorage, AK. SHEL is a band of four sisters known for their infectious rhythms and hypnotic vocals.The concert will also include local Alaskan band The Sugar Saturated Sugar Strings and special dance performances by Underground Dance CompanyTickets are available for the concert. A complete list of scheduled events is available as well as a complete list of registration information.

More Survivors Courses planned throughout the country

Four more FWC Survivors Courses are scheduled throughout the country for 2017. Leading experts in gynecologic cancers will present on important topics such as survivorship and personal treatment plans. These courses are also a perfect time to meet and network with other patients and survivors.
The current 2017 Survivors Courses list:
 
Feb. 25, 2017 Hilton West Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, FL // Apr. 22, 2017 City of Hope Cancer Center Duarte, CA //May 5, 2017 MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX // Nov. 4, 2017 Washington D.C.
>Additional courses are planned for 2017. The course dates and locations will be updated as the information is finalized.

Survivors Quote of the Month

Print

To subscribe to our e-newsletter, to receive great content like Thrive, click here.

Spotlight

Elizabeth Young isn’t afraid to jump for a cause no matter how high. As a survivor of cervical cancer, Young empowers women through skydiving, running marathons and giving back to the cause. This year is no different with her second skydiving event Mother’s Day Weekend.

Awareness

September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month.  After creating the month in 1999, the Foundation strives to bring attention about these cancers through public awareness campaigns.

Research

The Foundation is proud to offer various Research Grants and Awards. Click here for more information.

Education

FREE Gynecologic Cancer Survivors Courses throughout the country. For more information, click here.