Happy Mother’s Day – Fundraising

Celebrate your mom today!

I am thinking a lot about my mom lately. It was on the 10th of May three years ago, that she received the diagnosis. For her and us, her family and friends a world-altering diagnosis.

She had been diagnosed with cancer.

On that day we did not know the extent of the sickness.

Soon we found out that her cancer, caused by HPV was for one very rare and that it had spread to other organs. Both facts made the outlook for the future bleak. Her cancer, a vaginal carcinoma, a very rare cancer, and rarely diagnosed in women under the age of 65, meant that there were few tested and successful treatments for the medical staff to use. It had spread, also meant that there were little options left.

Still, we had hope. My mom turned into a fierce fighter. She wanted to get rid of the villain nestled inside her. She was sure that she would make it, that treatment would work. These beliefs were comforted by a dream she had that resonated with her, in her dream she heard that her soul’s time on this earth wasn’t up. She had read the book “Dying to be me” only weeks before her diagnosis. Thus she was certain miracles could happen.

Through good contacts, luck and negotiations she was accepted on a trial program for immunotherapy. Who knows, maybe if the treatments would have started earlier, she would be here today, to celebrate mother’s day with her grandchildren and daughters.

Toward the end of her life, my mother invested us with a mission.

She wants us to educate others on HPV. She wants us to use her art, her story to create awareness. She wants us to communicate on the HPV Vaccination. She wants us to raise funds to finance research. So that no one has to lose their life to preventable cancer. So that no one loses their mom prematurely. So that no one loses their daughter prematurely. So that no one loses their spouse prematurely. So that no one loses their sister, their cousin, their aunt, their grandmother, their friend prematurely due to a preventable disease.

Every year my dad organises a Charity bike ride. This year the NWC or Nicola Werner Challenge will go into its 4th edition. If you are keen on biking in France (start and finish in Paris) then hop over to the website and register. Registration fees are 100€ and you get a ton of goodies. Those paying taxes in France get a tax deduction too…

But maybe travelling to Paris for a bike ride, however, tempting isn’t your thing or it isn’t in your budget. Maybe you have a weakness for art and want to purchase one of my mom’s prints. You can do that and I will be happy to find out where you will be hanging it!

I truly understand if those two things aren’t for you. Therefore we are fundraising on the side. Anyone can create their own fundraiser for the Nicola Werner Association or they can participate in an existing one.

Thus today, on Mother’s day, I invite you to give a small (or big amount) to fund cancer research. My goal is to raise a total of 5000€. If all people following my blog )you are a little more than 600, but I think, seen the stats, you don’t all really come here all the time) were to give between 5 and 10 € then you would help me reach that goal in no time. And if you only have 1€ to give, then I will be grateful to you as much as to the person giving €1000, because every little bit helps.

I invite you to head over to my fundraiser, and thank you!

I really feel uncomfortable asking for money. But knowing that it isn’t for me but to support my mother’s last wish it is a lot easier.

Have a great mother’s day! If you have a mom, tell her how much you love her!

Find out more about the Nicola Werner Research Award.
Art against cancer (my mom’s project).
My mom’s last message, this video is in German, but it has subtitles.
NWC Paris – the carity’s homepage
My recent post about HPV.
And again the link to my fundraiser. Thank you so much for your support!

Oh you should continue reading the story…

HPV – H – A to Z Challenge

I have wanted to write this post for a long time. I, always find something else that I can write about. But today, I will write about HPV.

HPV is short for Human Papilloma Virus, there are many different types of HPV, and some of them are cancerous.

My mother passed away two years ago. She died of cancer. She had a very rare cancer that been caused by HPV and that was very aggressive. It was her last wish that we would educate women and girls but also men and boys on the topic of HPV.

HPV is sexually transmittable and condoms do not represent a sufficient form of protection. This is the reason why it is important that women and girls once they have been sexually active in their lives go an have a PAP-smear at least once a year.

The most efficient protection against HPV is vaccination. In most countries, only girls are vaccinated, but in some places, parents are lucky they don’t have to lobby their doctors in order to protect their sons and their future partner(s) from HPV and cancers caused by HPV.

Even though women are most likely touched by HPV cancers there are some rare cancers caused by HPV that touch men, such as mouth and throat cancers or penile cancers.

Now, I know many people put forward the argument that their daughters will be more promiscuous or sexually active at a too young age if they receive an HPV-vaccination. But take a step back, vaccinating a girl when she is about 10 will protect her later in life, it is not so that she is sexually active before reaching the age of consent. Maybe she will only have one partner during her life, who will unknowingly infect her with HPV, or maybe she will have more than one without being promiscuous, maybe she will divorce, maybe she will be widowed and will have a new partner later on. If you really want to protect your daughter it won’t be through not vaccinating her.

I want to transmit my mom’s message. Vaccinate your daughters and if possible your sons. Get yourself checked regularly. Make sure your partner, wife, mother, sister, daughter, cousin get checked regularly! Sadly a good diet, regular exercise, no smoking, no alcohol won’t keep cancers caused by HPV at bay.

In order to support my mother’s last wish. We created the Nicola Werner Association. Every year a research award is given to young researchers in the areas of virology, immunology and prevention of cancerous diseases.

In order to raise funds for this award, given yearly to researchers at Goustave Roussy and DKFZ Heidelberg, the Nicola Werner Association sells original copies of my mom’s art, organises a fundraising bike-ride every September, the Nicola Werner Challenge. For those who don’t want to buy art or participate in the bike-ride or want to support a bit more, we are now also fundraising on the side. I have the goal to raise 5000€ for the Research Award. And if all of my blog’s followers were to give 10€ each I’d surpass this goal quickly.

Thank you!