Kimberly Williams: Surviving and thriving
Full-time working mother and wife Kimberly Williams was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2018 after an abnormal Pap test followed by a biopsy. Initially, Williams felt scared and wondered if her diagnosis was a death sentence. After meeting with her oncologist, she learned her treatment would include a radical hysterectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Although Williams’ friends and family supported her and her and treatment plan, she researched additional information about HPV and cervical cancer to help educate them further. Following a recurrence of cervical cancer in August 2019 that was treated with radiation and chemotherapy, Williams received her first “no evidence of disease” or “NED” in December 2019.
Although Williams was declared free of cancer, her recovery was not complete. She was relieved her treatment was over, but she felt a sense of emptiness and loneliness, often crying out of frustration. In response, Williams further educated herself on HPV and cervical cancer and decided to be an advocate for “below-the-belt” cancers.
Today, Williams is active with Cervivor Inc., a global community of cervical cancer patient advocates and considers herself a “Cervivor change agent.” She frequently shares her story with her community. Williams believes her voice and those of her fellow “Cervivors” can end cervical cancer.
“If you are ever diagnosed with cervical cancer or positive for HPV, you are not alone,” Williams says. “It's actually more common than you think. Please take action to be treated immediately. If you haven't been diagnosed or tested positive for HPV, simple measures—like keeping up with your exams, getting co-tested for HPV and researching the HPV vaccine—could change your life.”
(Please note that Kimberly is not affiliated with and was not treated by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We are grateful for her contributions to promoting HPV cancer prevention and this article.)