All of these thoughts combined and made me want to explain to you why I advocate. What a better way to describe why I advocate then a handy top ten list, in true Ball State University fashion (with a quick nod at Dave Letterman).
Top Ten Reasons I Advocate
10. Cervical cancer isn't a dirty word and it is time we stop the stigma.
9. An average of 36 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in the US today, and every day until a change is made.
8. I want others to know they are not alone.
7. HPV is so prevalent, the shaming needs to end. The shaming ends with us speaking up.
6. Cervical cancer takes the lives of an average of 11 women in the US alone daily, and those women can't advocate.
5. There are so many signs and symptoms that we, as women, dismiss as "normal" life.
4. Too many women skip their annual wellness exam, an exam that can save lives.
3. You need to know that there is a vaccine that can essentially eradicate cervical cancer.
2. I don't want another woman to end up in the bed where I lie having to get treatment for cervical cancer.
1. If I die before my son is grown, I want him to remember me as a woman who made a difference, a woman who helped make this the last generation that has to worry about cervical cancer.
So, I advocate. Advocacy doesn't stop because cancer doesn't stop. I advocate now, here, from the hospital bed. How have you been an active advocate today?