Cervical cancer survivor Maria Franklin, recipient of the 2019 Cervivor Champion Award, is BUSY – during Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and all year long!
She embodies everything Cervivor and the “Cervivor Spark” stands for. Informed. Empowered. Alive.
She mentors other cervical cancer survivors. She hosts MeetUps. She fundraises – via social media, in her community, wherever and whenever she can. She runs the Cervivor Español Facebook group. She helped organize and co-facilitate a Spanish-language Cervivor School in Puerto Rico. She leads initiatives to help ensure that cervical cancer screening, vaccination and prevention messages reach the Latina community in the U.S., and in Central and South America.
She even used her birthday as an opportunity for education and fundraising by creating a campaign and rallying her friends to “Help celebrate my 48th birthday by joining me in walking, running or cycling a total of 48 miles during the month of October!” #48MilesToEndCervicalCancer
She embodies support and advocacy. She brings her passion to everything she does. She is making her survivorship count, day in and day out. Mobilizing. Advocating. Educating.
Initially diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1999, Maria is a 20+ year survivor who started advocating for cervical cancer prevention and helping to forge a cervical cancer community of women “before there was social media” and before there was Cervivor. She has never slowed down.
Maria has a particularly busy January planned to support and harness Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in her home state of Wisconsin. She’s planned:
- A “proclamation” from the Governor’s office to officially recognize the importance of January as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in Wisconsin.
- Interviews with Telemundo Wisconsin and radio stations in Puerto Rico to talk about cervical cancer awareness and prevention
- “Teal & White Days” at work
- A patient reception for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, in partnership with a local gynecologic oncology clinic
- A Cervivor MeetUp to connect in-person with women in her community who are battling cervical cancer or dealing with the after-effects
“Every single one of us has to do our part. We have to do our part so we can make this a reality for the next generation. Nobody else should have to go through what we went through,” says Maria.
What is your part? What are you doing over CCAM in your local community?
Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to feature you and your work on our blog, if you are interested!
Watch Maria’s powerful Cervivor Champion Award acceptance speech at the 2019 Cervivor School awards ceremony, or read her remarks below.
Maria’s Award Acceptance Speech:
I truly believe in Cervivor. I truly believe in what we do here. I know we can end cervical cancer. This is why we are here. Every single one of us has to do our part. We have to do our part so we can make this a reality for the next generation. Nobody else should have to go through what we went through.
The story is different for every single one of us. It wasn’t easy for any of us. No one else should have to go through what we went through. So we are here today to take this responsibility seriously. Because ending cervical cancer is our job. We have to do it because we have to honor what we went through, and also because of the people we have lost.
Today when you leave here [Cervivor School], you start your work and you start your mission. And if and when you’re feeling you may be a little burnt out, you reach out to one of us and we will help you. We will support you. Because we need to do this for the next generation!
Thanks, Maria, for all that you do for Cervivor, for women today and for the next generation who – with your help – may live in a world free from cervical cancer.
Maria Franklin is a 20-year cervical cancer survivor who heads Cervivor’s Latina advocacy efforts.
Read her original Cervivor story and her blog post reflecting on 21 years post-cancer.
Watch her story and advice on Cervivor TV.