Day 4: Personal Stories (HPV)

Day 4: Personal Stories (HPV)

The names and other identifying information about these patients have been altered to protect their privacy.

This morning in Chisec, Guatemala, a lovely woman named Mayra entered the new Cure Cervical Cancer: Collie and Greg Daily Cinic. She came to be screened and possibly treated for premalignant cervical cancer. She knew HPV was very high in her region. She asked politely if her mother, Elena could come to the clinic as well. Later in the afternoon they returned to the CCC See and Treat clinic with Mayra’s two children in tow.

Mayra and Elena took turns watching the children. Gloria, the mother and grandmother screened negative for precancerous cervical lesions. However, Mayra’s VIA results indicated the presence of HPV lesions. Gloria was both concerned and relieved that her daughter would be immediately treated, and waited with her grandchildren as her daughter was treated with cryotherapy. Gloria smiled uncontrollably when she learned her daughter had been successfully treated.

Pictured are Antonio and Julio, two young Chisec boys, ages 4 and 7, are waiting for their mother as she receives cryotherapy. Julio does not go to school, which is fairly common: about 25% of elementary-school-age children in Chisec do not go to school because they cannot afford school supplies.

Meanwhile, their father, Guillermo (who works at night as a cook in a local Chisec restaurant), plays with their 3-year-old sister Graciela in order to keep her from running into the clinic for her Mom. Guillermo is anxious for his wife to be released; however, he is glad that the VIA test was normal, and he pleased to celebrate with a Gallo beer or 2 tonight.