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HPV Awareness Raised Through Music

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I was young, healthy and in a long-term relationship when I learned two years ago I was infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) which can cause cervical cancer. As a Middleport, NY native now living in Philadelphia, I was shocked and overwhelmed with emotion. Within a month, I had to undergo surgery to remove precancerous cells. I knew little then about HPV.

Today, at age 29, I am working to ensure others are armed with information about HPV and how to prevent it though a non-profit corporation I founded called Concerts for a Cure. I’m an architect by day and musician by night. I was featured in the Feb. ’08 issues of Glamour, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Shape magazines. The ad was about my background and why I formed Concerts for a Cure and a few common facts about HPV. Concerts for a Cure is an annual benefit concert aimed at raising awareness for HPV. I created the non-profit corporation because of the intense emotions I experienced due to my lack of knowledge. I hope to educate others so they won’t experience those same emotions.

Since its debut in 2008, we raised over $10,000, founded it as a non-profit corporation, obtained major corporate sponsors, and took it to a national stage. The 2009 season raised the bar when we hosted six-time Grammy nominated Joan Osborne. We’ve been featured on Philly’s NBC 10! Show, the nationally syndicated morning show Better Philly as well as on air on 95.7 WBEN FM and 88.5 WXPN. While our main goal is HPV awareness, we also hope to provide financial assistance with testing, vaccination, education and/or other programs for those with little or no health insurance. In the future if funding permits we would like to extend this contribution to organizations that work with developing countries where that need is so great. I am hoping you will be interested in helping make this goal happen. Please help us take this story to a national level so as to educate others in the hopes of preventing future cervical cancer cases.

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(reply to Anonymous)

Dear Anonymous,
I volunteer for the National Cervical Cancer/International HPV Cancer Coalition and I would like a copy of "the FDA documents" you cite in regard to women having HPV and increasing cervical cancer risk by 44.6%. In regard to your statement about 60 deaths reported to VAERS, I would also appreciate copies of those records, as when I was on the VAERS system last week, I was unable to find anything that referenced a definitive link of any HPV vaccination being a direct cause in any deaths, but my search may have been flawed so if you can share those particular documents I would be most appreciative. As a 10 year cervical cancer survivor, and as a lecturer on cervical cancer and HPV, it is my responsiblity to make sure I have the most accurate and updated information in regard to all things HPV so if the medical and scientific community that I have been consulting with is errant, I will be sure to share your cited statistics and documents with them, provided they are based on scientifically & medically reliable published data. Please feel free to send all supporting evidence to your above referenced claims and statistics. Your efforts are much appreciated. (Note: Personal email address removed by EmpowHER moderator.)

February 12, 2010 - 7:42am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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