Community Issues

Cancer Changes Family's Mind About Vaccine

Friends of Marty's were on the fence about getting their teenage sons vaccinated against the human papillomavirus. Marty's HPV-related cancer changed their minds.

Sparkt founder and CEO Marty Griffin's campaign to get every young person vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus

(HPV) is continuing to change minds -- and maybe even save the lives of children whose parents have been following Marty's Journey.

Marty was diagnosed with HPV-related throat cancer last August, and has publicly shared his cancer battle every step of the way. He's been outspoken about taking steps to prevent HPV, which causes the majority of cervical cancers and many mouth and throat cancers.

Now Marty's close friends, Rob and Natalie Kania, are telling their story about how watching him fight for his life convinced them to get their teenage twin sons the HPV vaccine :

The Kania's family doctor, David MacIsaac of MacIsaac Family Medicine says, while the HPV vaccine had a rocky start with consumers, in the 10+ years the HPV vaccine has been on the market, it's been proven to be safe with relatively few side effects. He says that's calmed many parents' fears.

Dr. MacIsaac says Marty's telling his cancer story can make a big difference in changing even more minds about the HPV vaccine.

"I think it's huge." Dr. David MacIsaac on Marty Griffin's influence on the rate of HPV vaccination

"Knowing someone that actually had it (HPV-related cancer) and can talk about it and how to prevent it," is a big deal says Dr. MacIsaac.

"Marty's a local personality. People know him. To see someone like that go through it makes you think anybody could," he stressed. "When you get individuals coming out and saying 'I've been affected, this was caused by HPV, this is preventable, you need to be vaccinated' that can go a long way."

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