Jacqueline Whitmore to Speak at the National Cervical Cancer Coalition Conference in Washington, DC on Sept. 14-15
In 2001 I was diagnosed with the early stages of cervical cancer. The devastating news came as a shock since I had never had an irregular pap smear or any physical symptoms. In retrospect, I was so busy working on my new business that I neglected to get regular check-ups for four consecutive years. What a mistake! When I did decide to get a check-up, that’s when my test results came back positive. If I had prolonged my appointment another year, who knows if I would even be alive today to tell my story.
It’s true that when you hear the word, “cancer,” your heart sinks and you go into a state of shock and disbelief. After my initial shock wore off, I got busy doing a tremendous amount of research. I found an amazing oncologist at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, had surgery, and am proud to be cancer-free! I was one of the lucky ones who caught it early. I wish I had known then what I know now about the human papilloma virus, also known as HPV. I had never even heard of it until my doctor in Tampa told me about it.
Today, there is a new vaccine that is highly effective in preventing many kinds of cervical cancer and is available to girls, beginning at nine years of age. I highly recommend it.
About a year ago, I discovered the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, a grassroots, non-profit organization. I am now one of their spokespersons. This week, (Sept. 14-15), I will have the privilege of speaking at the NCCC National Convention in Washington, DC to 85 women who either have, or have had, cervical cancer. During my talk, I will share my personal story and encourage these women to go back to their community and spread the word about how to prevent, detect, and treat this deadly disease that kills more than 273,500 women every year worldwide.
Please take a moment to peruse the NCCC’s website (www.nccc-online.org) which offers a wonderful phone pal and email pal program. This program provides a support system for cervical cancer survivors and patients. Or if you have cervical cancer, please don’t hesitate to email me. I would be happy to share my story with you and offer my support!