A diagnosis she never expected
The wildlife researcher and mother of two young girls knew in that instant she was in for the fight of a lifetime.
In 2014, following a Pap test in which irregular cells were detected in Kerry’s cervix, she received a call from Dr. Dianne Miller, division head of Gynecologic Oncology and co-founder of the BC Cancer Agency’s Ovarian Cancer Research Program.
In the next few days, Kerry had to make one of the most difficult decisions of her life: whether to undergo radiation therapy or have surgery to remove the cancer, which would mean removing her cervix and uterus.Less than a month after her diagnosis, after many tests and procedures, Kerry had the surgery, choosing also to have her ovaries removed as an extra precaution.
Two years later, Kerry is cancer-free and carrying on with life. She knows how lucky she is because out of 1,300 new cases diagnosed every year in Canada, 390 women won’t survive. It’s a tragedy that is entirely preventable.Cervical cancer has definitively been linked to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Armed with a vaccine, we have the ability to eliminate HPV from the general population. This vaccine is available to women and girls born 1994 or later, at no cost.
PAP screening saved Kerry’s life – the HPV vaccine will ensure that her daughters never have to go through what she did.“If only this vaccine had been available when I was younger,” says Kerry. “I’m totally in favour of it for my daughters.”
Early detection. Improved vaccination protocols . Research. BC Women’s leading physicians and scientists hope to eradicate cervical cancer in our lifetime.
It will be the first cancer in history to be eliminated by a vaccine.
Kerry is pictured above with her daughters,Tessa and Kate.
By: Helena Bryan
Photography by: Brian Howell
Donate and help eradicate cervical cancer. Together we can change history.