Victims Katie Couric Neglected To Mention In Her Discussion of HPV
Dec 05, 2013

A few weeks ago I wrote about the fact that Katie Couric’s new daytime television show Katie was planning to air a segment about HPV vaccine After hearing the proposed line-up for the show it was clear that the HPV vaccine was not going to be portrayed favorably.  And as expected, the conversation has blown up all over the internet in the past 24 hours with many reporters and bloggers calling out Katie Couric and her producers for how poorly they’ve handled this important conversation.

Unfortunately, daytime television ratings are driven by emotion and controversy and Katie Couric’s producers know that.  So despite the overwhelming research available on the safety and efficacy of the HPV vaccine, that information was not adequately presented to the millions of viewers of her show.

But there was one other thing notably missing – it was the voices of those who have suffered with HPV related cancers.  And those family members who speak out on behalf of those lost to HPV related cancers.  

Since the Katie Couric neglected to include a single cervical cancer survivor, I’m encouraging anyone who has had a personal experience with an HPV related cancer to speak out and let others know just how terrifying it has been for you.  You may share your story by emailing us at  And I would like to encourage everyone to share your opinions of the episode with one of the show’s producers.

Below are just a few of the HPV related stories that are featured on the Shot By Shot website.  They are all very compelling and emotional and I hope that someday they will get the kind of attention that the Katie show has given to those critical of the vaccine.

In this video, Heather Burcham shares her story of cervical cancer just two months before she died.  Her hope was to change just one person’s life by encouraging others to get the HPV vaccine.


This is an excellent video filmed at the national Cervical Cancer Coalition conference in Atlanta, GA, in January 2013 which highlights stories from cervical cancer survivors and family members of women who have died from the disease.  These personal stories highlight the devastating impact of cervical cancer and emphasizes the importance of prevention in the form of vaccines and regular screening–prevention that can save lives.


Brett lost his wife Summer to cervical cancer despite the fact that she had regular PAP tests.


Denise Burgin talks about losing her daughter Shelley at the age of 27, just nine months after being diagnosed with cervical cancer.  She too had received regular cervical screenings, yet her diagnosis came too late.


In this video, Joslyn talks about what it has been like to live with HPV.  At age 18 she had her first abnormal PAP test, followed by two different LEEP procedures and a cone biopsy all before she was married at the age of 24.


At age 26, Patty was diagnosed with cervical cancer and told she would probably never be able to have children.  Fortunately she went on to have three children who she will choose to protect with the HPV vaccine.


Just a year after her first child was born, this young mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer.  In her area alone, seven other women were diagnosed at the same time.  After two surgeries and a radical hysterectomy she is was no longer able to have children, but she is also the only one out of the eight that were diagnosed at that time to have survived.


These are just a handful of the many stories of fear, suffering and loss that can be attributed to HPV.  Please share these stories with others so that people can hear about the real risks of HPV and why it’s so important to protect our children with the HPV vaccine.

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