Embracing Resilience: Celebrating Survivors, Heritage, and Pride This June

As June dawns upon us, it brings with it a vast spectrum of significance to our community, weaving together the threads of awareness, diversity, resilience, and celebration. This month, we commemorate not just one, but three vital observances: National Cancer Survivors Month, Caribbean Heritage Month, and Pride Month. The community at Cervivor embraces the intersectionality of these occasions and honors the strength, courage, and vibrancy of those who embody their spirit. Read along with us as we navigate each thread.

National Cancer Survivors Month serves as a reminder of the estimated 20 million worldwide who have confronted the harrowing journey of cancer diagnosis and treatment. It’s a time to celebrate the resilience of survivors, who navigate through the storm of uncertainty with unwavering resolve. Each survivor’s story is a testament to strength, reminding us that hope can thrive even in the face of adversity.

Within the realm of cancer survivors, there exists a rich diversity, reflective of the world’s cultures and identities. This June, we also celebrate Caribbean Heritage Month, paying homage to the vibrant traditions, flavors, and rhythms of the Caribbean diaspora. From the sun-kissed beaches to the pulsating beats of Calypso and Reggae, the Caribbean exudes a spirit of resilience ingrained in its history of triumph over adversity. In honoring Caribbean heritage, we recognize the strength and unity cultivated by communities in the face of challenges, a resilience mirrored in the journey of cancer survivors.

Moreover, as we embrace the mosaic of identities that enrich our world, we also commemorate Pride Month, a time to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community’s courage, diversity, and resilience. LGBTQIA+ individuals facing cancer diagnoses often navigate unique challenges, from concerns about discrimination in healthcare to seeking inclusive support networks. Pride Month serves as a crucial time for visibility and acceptance, creating a culture of empowerment, inclusivity, and support for all those affected by cancer, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

At Cervivor, we understand the power of community, support, and solidarity in the face of adversity. Our mission transcends borders and boundaries, embracing individuals from all walks of life, united by the shared experience of cervical cancer. Through advocacy, education, and support, we strive to empower survivors, caregivers, and allies to navigate their journey with courage and resilience.

As we reflect on the significance of National Cancer Survivors Month, Caribbean Heritage Month, and Pride Month, let us honor the resilience, diversity, and strength that define our collective human experience. Together, we stand as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human soul, capable of overcoming even the darkest of storms with unwavering grace and resilience.

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Cervivor Takes Manhattan!

As we wrapped up the last weekend of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM), we headed to New York for a monumental event that started off this year’s Cervical Cancer Summit powered by Cervivor.

Founder Tamika Felder, along with members from the Cervivor community, were invited to ring the closing bell on Nasdaq. Tamika’s call to action to the world, “Join us in this mission because no one should die from cervical cancer.” And the world is listening!

We kicked off the 2023 Cervical Cancer Summit in partnership with Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute, it was truly an inspired and innovated conversation with Eve McDavid, a cervical cancer survivor and Fem Tech entrepreneur, along with the brilliant Dr. Onyinye Balogun and Fernando Gomez-Baquero. By using the patient voice, they are developing a revolutionary new device that will transform Brachytherapy, which still uses the same barbaric process that was developed in the 1970’s, with no regard for the actual female anatomy. We are excited to see more innovations like this happening in treatment altogether!

We continued with the patient voice perspective with members of the Cervivor community speaking on the Power in Patient Voices with Arlene Simpson, Yvette Torres, Kadiana Vegee and Kate Weissman. They shared how the collective Cervivor voice can bring more visibility and influence change, working towards our common goal of ending cervical cancer.

Dr. Rebecca Perkins joined us for Expert Hour on all things cervical cancer and HPV. You can tell that Dr. Perkins is very passionate about educating others to understand the importance of HPV vaccination and cancer prevention. “HPV vaccination is cancer prevention!”

The day continued with a session on Emotional Resilience: Survivorship & Support. Community members Anna Ogo, Tina Vetreno and Tiera Wade joined presenter Danielle Modlo, who is a Certified Nurse Practitioner at Cleveland Clinic, really brought to the surface what cervical cancer patients and survivors face from a mental health and wellness perspective during and after treatment.

Joslyn Paguio, Cervivor Podcast host, lead a conversation on Sexual Health with Dr. Rosemary Basson on how we navigate our ‘new groove’ through our physical and emotional changes that cancer brings to our sexual desires.

Our last panel discussion was on Navigating a Cervical Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Options – What’s Best for Ourselves with Ayanna Bass, Karla Chavez, Carol Lacey, Jenn Myers, Karen North, Selena Ruston and Kimberly Williams. We discussed how we make sense of everything we go through from diagnosis and beyond, and choosing the best treatment plan for you which may include clinical trials, more surgeries, or second opinions.

Just as the day began, we ended with an exhilarating bang as Dr. Cindy Trice shared her personal cervical cancer journey and how years later that journey helped create and fuel KickIt Pajamas. She truly turned her pain into purpose and we just love her company’s mantra, “Friends don’t let friends have hospital butt.” Her inspirational talk left us laughing and crying.

Last but not least, we celebrated five new Cervivor Champion Award recipients for going above and beyond with the mission of Cervivor being their driving force. Join us in congratulating these outstanding individuals as our 2023 Cervivor Champions!