Women’s History Month: Making a Difference IV

22 03 2010

March is National Women’s History Month, and this year is the 30th anniversary. According to the National Women’s History Project, this year’s theme is Writing Women Back into History; they will be highlighting previous themes that recognizes various aspects of women’s achievements. To find out more info about Women’s History Month, check out this post.

In honor of this month, each week, I will focus on a woman and/or organization making a difference for women. This week it’s all about Tamika & Friends, Inc.

Tamika Felder, founder of Tamika and Friends, Inc.

Tamika & Friends, Inc. is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about cervical cancer and its link to HPV (human papillomavirus). The organization was founded in 2005 by cervical cancer survivor and advocate Tamika Felder. Its network of survivors and their friends spread the essential message that through education, prevention and treatment, cervical cancer can be completely eliminated. Believing that creative communication is far more infectious than HPV- Tamika and Friends provides hands-on ways to spread the word to women in all walks of life.

Tamika created this nonprofit after being diagnosed with cervical cancer at 25-years-old. She had visited the doctor for a routine Pap after not having one for a few years due to lack of insurance and body image issues.

Doctors informed Tamika that her best chance of living was to have a radical hysterectomy (giving up her womb and chances of giving birth) or a radical trachelectomy; if she was a candidate for the latter, she’d have to get pregnant immediately or freeze her eggs. She ultimately agreed to have the radical hysterectomy.

Through all the chemo and radiation treatment, Tamika emerged a survivor! However, during her ordeal, in the early 2000s, cervical cancer and HPV weren’t in the news nearly as much as they are now, and Tamika and her friends felt they needed to do something to help and educate other women about HPV and cervical cancer. Ultimately, Tamika and Friends was born.

Currently, Tamika is cancer-free and enjoying life.

For more info about Tamika and Friends, check out the website, and for more information about HPV and cervical cancer, go to the Pearl of Wisdom Campaign website.

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