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"HPV Took the Lives of Two Women in My Life"

By: Ann Treleven, Secretary and Volunteer Coordinator, Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County, US Army Nurse, Retired

Many years ago, before there was such a thing as the HPV vaccine, I knew two young women who died of HPV-related cancers. One was a Naval officer who was talented in such varied skills as cooking, needlework and pistol shooting, even winning awards in shooting competitions. I will never forget a young adult gathering where she brought a dish I thought I would never eat, and then ended up asking for her recipe! Her loss to her family, along with my life and the lives of others at my church was huge. She was not much over 30 years old. The other was a talented musician who had won an audition far away from where we lived at the time. She visited often, mainly to keep vibrant her relationship and subsequent marriage to another friend, also a musician. Shortly before I moved out of the area, she moved back and was looking forward to teaching children about music and perhaps having some children of her own. In the months before she died, she was confined to bed and in endless pain. On the day she died, she encouraged her husband to fulfill his evening commitment to play in an orchestra gig that evening, knowing that he would need music to help him heal. Had the HPV vaccine been available back then, these friends might not have died. My work with the Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County is a tribute to their memories and I pray that the Collaboration's efforts will help to prevent needless deaths such as theirs in the years to come. ICTC is hard at work vaccinating Tarrant County against HPV related cancers. Thanks to a generous $10,000 donation from the Ellermeyer Family Charitable Fund of The North Texas Giving Day, ICTC has been able to pay for the administrative cost of 1,250 doses of HPV vaccine. ICTC is currently working with 16 Tarrant County ISD's and school nurses to ensure 6th graders in Tarrant County are up to date and fully vaccinated for the start of 7th grade. Looking for more information about the HPV vaccine and HPV related cancers? The following are reputable, scientific based sources. Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash


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