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Silver Syringe Awards – Immunize Nevada – April 2018

Heidi Parker, Emily Ruzzine, David Perez & SupermanHPV - Silver Syringe Awards - Las Vegas 2018Heidi Parker, Emily Ruzzine, David Perez & SupermanHPV – Silver Syringe Awards – Las Vegas 2018

I just spent two amazing days in Las Vegas where I was the Key Note speaker for Immunize Nevada’s Silver Syringe Awards. Here is the video I shared during my speech: SupermanHPV. Immunize Nevada is Nevada’s only statewide nonprofit dedicated to immunizations. This organization saves lives by preventing disease and promoting health. You can learn more about Immunize Nevada by visiting their website at I was hosted by Heidi Parker – Executive Director, Emily Ruzzine – Director of Events and David Perez – Communications & Outreach Project Coordinator. They made my trip awesome, and truly care about the people they serve. I have to give one last shout out to Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) at the CDC. She and I spent a few hours together at the Silver Syringe Awards as we sat next to each other, and she also introduced me after addressing the audience. Her speech knocked the ball out of the park, and I enjoyed chatting with her about the CDC and getting to know her on a personal level. 

Dr. Nancy Messonnier - Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) for the CDC.Dr. Nancy Messonnier – Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) for the CDC.

I initially found out about this organization from watching a TedTalk by Heidi Parker –  You are the key to stopping HPV. I thought she was terrific, and she inspired me to commit to creating my own TedTalk about HPV Throat Cancer and Surviving Cancer while remaining mentally strong. My plan is to create this TedTalk over the next year.

Another reason for creating this blog is to educate people about the wonderful work of Immunization Coalitions throughout the United States – Immunization coalitions are made up of people, dedicated people who have organized themselves together to improve the blanket of protection that vaccines offer their communities.

As a stage IV HPV throat cancer survivor, I beat cancer after having a radical tonsillectomy, neck dissection (42 lymph nodes removed from my neck), followed by seven weeks of chemo, radiation and a feeding tube. I have been through the hell of treatment and am here today to educate parents about the HPV Vaccine, oral cancer screenings and HPV in general.

I hope you found this interesting and informative. Please feel free to share it with friends, family and other organizations where it can positively impact lives.

On a side note, I am on the Executive Board of the Head & Neck Cancer Alliance (HNCA) and we save lives through prevention, early detection and research of head and neck cancer. My focus at HNCA is to help build a survivor, patient and caregiver network that spans the globe. Please reach out to me/us if you are interested in joining our Ambassador Program to help others touched by head and neck cancer. This will truly help many people and save lives. One of the ways I plan to do this is by having my cancer story shared in as many languages as possible on all seven continents. I would love your assistance in helping me reach my goal. Please touch base with any suggestions.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog!