PRESS RELEASE: Cervical Cancer Survivors Train for Advocacy at “Cervivor School”

 

Cervical Cancer Survivors Train for Advocacy at “Cervivor School” During Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

Susan G. Komen founder Nancy Brinker to speak to cervical cancer survivors about strategies that drive awareness and impact policy

Sept. 17, 2018 – Timed to Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month, cervical cancer patients and survivors from across America and Europe will come together Sept. 20-22 in Cape Cod, Mass., to learn how to leverage their own personal stories to become advocates for cervical cancer education, prevention and policy change. Convened by Cervivor, the “Cervivor School” will feature Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen and the regarded global leader of the breast cancer / women’s cancer awareness and prevention movement.

“I look forward to sharing my story and more importantly, communicating to these brave women the power of their own stories, and how they can make a positive impact in their communities, this country and around the world,” said Ms. Brinker. “I am honored and excited to speak to the Cervivor School, which is doing great work in helping to organize and support women with cervical cancer.” Her talk is the featured keynote address on Sat., Sept. 22 at 8:30am.

Ms. Brinker will discuss the power of women’s stories as a key tool in cancer advocacy, share how she helped build one of the world’s largest cancer advocacy organizations, and share where she believes America as a whole – and cancer advocates individually and communally – should focus next in combatting cancer deaths.

Cervivor School is a networking, educational and motivational event that brings together and mobilizes cervical cancer patients and survivors to become more involved in the cervical cancer awareness and prevention movement. It supports women with training and tools to powerfully tell their stories to a range of audiences – including legislators and policy makers.

Falmouth, Mass.-based Team Maureen is co-hosting the event with Cervivor.org. More than 40 women are expected to attend the Cervivor School – Cervivor’s 10thsuch training. More than 600 women have attended Cervivor School and similar trainings offered by Cervivor’s predecessor organization, Tamika & Friends.

“The more we are willing to share our stories, the lives we can save. We can support women diagnosed with cervical cancer. We can educate about effective prevention with Pap testing, HPV testing and HPV vaccination. And, importantly, we can elevate our voices together to reach policy makers to ensure that cervical cancer screening and prevention programs are funded and implemented,” said Cervivor’s founder Tamika Felder.

“It is often personal stories that can most inspire people to take steps toward change,” highlighted Team Maureen’s founder Eileen Lind.

Cervivor School will be held at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth, Mass., with sponsorship from Cape Cod Health Care, Hologic, BD, Genentech and Roche.

About Cervivor

Cervivor builds a community for cervical cancer survivors, family members, educators and caregivers to advocate for HPV awareness, cervical cancer prevention, to create meaningful networks across survivors and experts in the field; and to ultimately change the future of women’s health.

About Team Maureen

Falmouth, Mass.-based Team Maureen was founded in memory of Maureen E. Russo, a loving sister, daughter, wife and mother who passed away from relapsed cervical cancer at the age of 37. Team Maureen’s mission is to end cervical cancer by educating about the HPV cancer connection and the importance of prevention and early detection.

###

Interested in attending or receiving photos of the event? Contact:page2image1633392

Shelley Ducker

sduckercommunications@gmail.com

202.255.0561

Cervivor, My Teal Sisters

Imagine you are in the best shape of your life – all your hard work in all aspects of your life are paying off. You are living your best life. This was me on New Year’s Day 2017. Little did I know that all that work would make me stronger to fight what was soon to come.
January 2017 – I have an abnormal mammogram which turns into a biopsy that turns into a Stage 0 breast cancer diagnosis. Surgery occurs in April with radiation therapy until the beginning of June. I get through that with no issues and ready to get back to my “normal life”. With 3 radiation treatments left I was back to running. On a short run, I thought I was having UTI symptoms and went to an urgent care which lead to an ER visit that led to an advanced stage ovarian cancer diagnosis. You have got to be kidding. Lots of tests and appointments later – surgery and front line chemotherapy for 6 cycles to hopefully end in December. 

All my friends are very supportive and amazing but they none have gone through anything like this. I am grateful for them every day. My active running (race) plans are totally sidelined including the New York City Marathon the 1st weekend in November. During this time I am a sponge trying to soak in all the information I can about ovarian cancer, treatment options, and trying to find a way to get back to my “normal life”. Instead of the NYC Marathon, I find the Gynecologic Cancer Survivor Course with The Foundation for Women’s Cancer that includes a 5k in DC that same weekend.  A perfect distraction and an opportunity to learn more!

I arrive early to the seminar to pick out the best seat and maybe meet a few people. The people who sit at my table are lovely but serious and I don’t have a lot in common with them except for cancer. Then this high energy group of ladies walk into the room and sat down at the table next to me. My table didn’t have any empty seats and someone at the table had a friend still coming…perfect opportunity for me to change seats! I politely asked if I could join the ladies at the next table. They “warned” me that they were a rowdy bunch. (My thoughts were, PERFECT!) After introductions they treated me like one of the gang and I am sure that they were glad to have someone new with whom they could tell all their great stories. I learned so much not only from the sessions but from each of them and about their journeys. All of them are cervical cancer survivors from Cervivor!  While they have all have/had setbacks, they are all positive and always looking for the future.

During this weekend, I had an unexplained issue with both of my Achilles tendons – I could barely walk at one point. (It was later determined I was having an extreme reaction to an antibiotic.) I was now going to miss the 5K which was very disappointing. My new friends kept my spirits up the entire time. We hung out and walked together at the 1 mile event. We had a great time and the weekend was a success. Good information and now some new friends who understand and share my attitude about living with cancer.We have kept in touch since through Facebook and even some live chats. I have shared some of my obstacles with them even before sharing them with my inner circle of close friends. They understand.

Me in the teal hat! Photo courtesy of the Foundation for Women’s Cancer.

I was entered again into the New York City Marathon for 2018. With my recurrence and chemo treatments, my training has been awful and I decided to not run the marathon again. While disappointed, it opened my schedule for that weekend. I am now looking forward to attending the 2018 Race to End Women’s Cancer and Gynecologic Cancer Education Course in DC. I can’t wait to learn new information, run a 5k, and hang out with “old friends.”

Maureen Bowen, a Raleigh NC resident, is a Sales Product Specialist at Net Health and has worked in the healthcare IT field for over 20 years. When she is not working, you are likely to find her on a race course somewhere across the country. She has completed over 160 half marathons (all 50 states twice), 27 marathons, and 8 ultra marathons (races ranging from 31-100 miles). If you see her on a race course near you, please make sure to say hello!