Survivor Becomes Advocate to Support Cervical Cancer Education, Research

Diane Crawford  OSUCCC  James

Prevention has become a passion for cervical cancer survivor Diane Crawford, who draws from experience to promote increased health education and access.

Crawford’s journey to advocacy began in 2009, when an irregular Pap test led to her diagnosis of cervical cancer, likely caused by HPV.

Now cancer-free after treatment at the OSUCCC – James, Crawford has become an active proponent of HPV vaccination through her organization, The Crawford Crew (TCC). Launched just three months into her treatment, TCC raises money for education efforts aimed at reducing cervical cancer rates through vaccination, while also supporting research and community outreach programs for gynecological cancers.

Read on as Crawford explains the mission of TCC, as well as the importance of supporting the work of cancer researchers, including the team at the OSUCCC – James.

Taking on cervical cancer, before and after diagnoses

“Our work is in line with our mission—we educate to prevent cervical cancer and fundraise to support those initiatives, with emphases on HPV vaccination—it is proven to help prevent cancer—healthy lifestyles and regular medical exams. We also assist community members who are facing gynecological cancer while contributing to the funding of cervical cancer research.”

Cancer research: the significance of support

“It is important that we support research at The James and all comprehensive cancer centers. Scientific discoveries can lead us to better treatments and can improve the quality of life and outcomes for patients. Since our beginning, we have raised funds to support Dr. Paul Goodfellow’s GynOnc lab and a patient navigator, as well as studies and trials for endometrial, ovarian, and cervical cancer being done at The James.”

Speaking from experience

“I was lucky enough to be a candidate for robotic surgery, and even better, I was going to be operated on by one of the best trained and most experienced doctors around, Dr. David Cohn. Not only did the robotic surgery shorten my recovery time, I believe it reduced the amount of pain I experienced post-surgery.

Being at The James and having access to specialized technology, expert doctors, nurses and medical staff made for a positive experience and a lifetime of blessings. My family and I will never forget, and will always be grateful for, the care and support we were given during the most frightening time in our lives. Their ability to make us feel like the most important people on the planet was comforting.”

Final reminder

“I can’t overestimate the importance of education and being open to credible resources—it saves lives and is the key to never hearing that you or someone you love has cervical cancer.” 

The Crawford Crew has been selected as a Columbus-area finalist in Aetna’s Voices of Health competition. You can support Diane’s mission by voting online through November 9. Click here for details, and to cast your vote for the Crawford Crew.