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!

Behind the Scenes of the Comfort Care & Compassion Program

After navigating a global pandemic in 2020, we knew support was needed now more than ever. The Comfort Care & Compassion Program was developed and implemented as the newest addition in Cervivor’s 2021 programming. The CCC Program provides those impacted by cervical cancer with a little extra something to help carry them through the day.

The program has three components:
1) A choice of cards with a handwritten message from survivors in our community to send a little extra support or to help celebrate exciting milestones.
2) A tote bag to support individuals facing a new or recurrent diagnosis and in active treatment for cervical cancer.
3) A custom Cervivor lapel pin to celebrate benchmark milestones.

The program was developed by a team of cervical cancer survivors who volunteered numerous hours. Get to know them in this behind-the-scenes look at The Comfort Care and Compassion Program.

Meet Emily

Emily Hoffman, a cervical cancer survivor, 2016 Cervivor School graduate, and Cervivor Ambassador located in Iowa is our Comfort Care & Compassion Card Chair. She says, “To me, the CCC Card Program means support so that no one in the Cervivor community feels alone. The greeting cards are a way for us to celebrate the milestones together and uplift each other in difficult times.” 

Emily leaves a personal touch by handwriting, stamping, and drawing on each card.

Emily adds, “I am proud of the success of the CCC Card Program so far. I am also thrilled to know that the cards mean as much to the recipients as they do to me when I write them. The program has already brought us closer as a community, as the cards remind us that we can lean on each other.”

Meet Caroline

Caroline Swenson, a cervical cancer survivor, 2019 Cervivor School graduate, and Cervivor Ambassador located in Wisconsin, serves as the Comfort Care & Compassion Tote Bag Chair. She expresses, “I remember very clearly when I received my cervical cancer diagnosis. I was stunned and though I was surrounded by family and friends, I still felt alone. This is why I love the Comfort, Care, and Compassion Program powered by Cervivor! Being able to reach out on behalf of our community in a way that offers those on their journey a special little nudge, a nurturing gift, that says, “Hey, we are sorry you are going through this. You’ve got this and we are here to support you.” fills my cup.”

Meet Karen

Karen North, a cervical cancer survivor, 2019 Cervivor School graduate, and Cervivor Ambassador located in Missouri, serves as a community admin. She spends a lot of time getting to know each and every one of our community members and Karen helps with referring members to receive something special from the CCC Program. Karen says, “Being an RN, I am passionate about knowing you are cared for. The Comfort Care & Compassion Program gives me the opportunity to give all 3 aspects of comfort, care, and compassion to those that might be feeling lost, alone, stressed, you name it. I enjoy seeing how our CCC program personally impacts our community.”

Get Involved

We have some truly incredible community partners that have volunteered to write and decorate cards for our community. Emily talks about what it felt like opening the box of cards, “When I first saw the greeting cards, I was blown away by the thoughtfulness put into them. The cards were beautiful. Each one contained an encouraging message that was handwritten in bright colors. I unexpectedly started to tear up as I read through them! I was so moved by the support of complete strangers for our community. Even though they weren’t addressed to me, I felt like their encouraging words were meant for me. I felt loved and uplifted. So I’m excited to send these cards to our community over the coming months so that we all can feel the love and support they bring.” 

Everybody has their own story and own diagnosis but there is a community of cervical cancer patients, survivors, and thrivers who are here to support you in any way they can because they “get it.”

If you are interested in supporting this program please consider donating to Cervivor today. Volunteers may contact us for card or bag donations at info@t0g.ce7.mywebsitetransfer.com. And if you wish to give or receive a gift of comfort, click on the link here.