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Head & Neck Cancer Alliance (HNCA) –

Confidence Through Information

I am extremely grateful that Dr. Ezra Cohen introduced me to Holly Boykin, the Executive Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance (HNCA). Dr. Ezra Cohen is an HNCA board member, as well as a board certified oncologist and an internationally renowned translational researcher.

The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance’s mission “is to advance prevention, detection, treatment and rehabilitation of oral, head and neck cancer through public awareness, research, advocacy and survivorship.”

After surviving stage IV HPV-related oral cancer, I knew that I wanted to pay it forward and give back to others who were diagnosed with my same cancer and searching for answers. I wish I would have known about HNCA when I was first diagnosed back in May 2014, as I spent countless hours searching for answers to questions I had regarding HPV-related tonsil cancer. My official diagnosis was squamous cell carcinoma of the left tonsil. HNCA provided me with the answers I needed, while encouraging me to share my cancer story, positively impacting families and educating them about HPV-related oral cancer and oral cancer screenings.

I continue to receive overwhelming support from the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance (HNCA), and I am working diligently to give back. As such, I am co-chairing the patient education committee for HNCA, and hope to make life easier for those who have been diagnosed, as well as their families.  I work with many of the HNCA board members who are some of the most well respected in their fields. I am also committed to sharing information about the HPV vaccine, and encourage parents to speak with there kid’s pediatricians and/or family practice doctors regarding the positives and negatives. Every physician I have ever met, said that they would give the HPV vaccine to both their sons and daughters between the ages of nine and twenty six.

This educational piece is just one example of the incredible information and support HNCA provides to those of us committed to educating people about HPV related oral cancer. Education is the key to eliminating HPV related oral cancer.

Approximately one year ago Holly Boykin invited me to share my cancer story with several pharmaceutical companies during the HNCA cocktail hour that took place before the HNCA Board Meeting in Seattle, Washington. This event took place before the American Head & Neck Society’s (AHNS),  9th International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer. Similarly, I was fortunate to attend the NBA Cares event with Holly in Los Angeles on behalf of HNCA. At that event I also shared my cancer story with various individuals representing NBA teams from all over the country.

At the NBA Cares event in Los Angeles, Magic Johnson was a surprise guest speaker and quite dynamic. This event was hosted by Kaiser Permanente and NBA Cares.At the NBA Cares event in Los Angeles, Magic Johnson was a surprise guest speaker and quite dynamic. This event was hosted by Kaiser Permanente and NBA Cares.

The Head and Neck cancer is the premier organization for anyone looking for support when battling HPV related oral cancer. Holly and her team provide exceptional support for those individuals looks for answers.

Please refer your friends and family to to learn more about my fight against stage IV HPV related oral cancer. As well, I will be sponsoring a Smash Cancer tennis tournament in February 2018 to raise money and awareness for HPV related oral cancer.

Please check back over the next few weeks, at, to learn about specific dates for the Smash Cancer tennis tournament. As well, visit to learn more about the Head & Neck cancer.

I’m here if you need me.