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Dad speaks out

Dad speaks out

Stu Martindale and his daughter Aporonia


As a policeman, Stu Martindale is well aware of his own limitations when it comes to keeping his daughter safe. So when it comes to encouraging her to undertake the series of vaccinations that will protect her against the most common types of cervical cancer, he sees it as an obvious choice.

“Of course I’ll encourage her to be vaccinated,” he says. “I have to. It’s my duty as a protective father to see that she gets the best upbringing she can, and that means doing everything I can to make sure she’s safe, happy, and healthy. This is something we can do now to protect her in the future when she’s off living more independently. Ultimately, if the threat of cervical cancer is one less thing to worry about, then it’s well worth taking this simple step now.”

“Part of this decision is just a continuation of the vaccinations she received as a baby, but it’s also something new. If anything, this is more important because, unlike the childhood diseases, the rate of this disease is increasing.”

Stu’s daughter, Aporonia, is twelve years old, so is within the age group of young women who will offered the free vaccine through her school next year. The vaccine provides protection against the most common types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that are responsible for most incidences of cervical cancer. Research has shown that this is the most effective age for the series of vaccinations to be administered. Because of her age, Stu sees it as part of his role to educate himself about the vaccine and the virus. “As a dad and a husband, I need to come to grips with what’s what when it comes to HPV and cervical cancer itself. I don’t need to know all the ins and outs, but I need to know enough so that I can explain it to Aporonia in a way that she understands.”

“The best way to keep her safe is to make sure she has the knowledge herself. The old saying, ‘knowledge is power’ is so true in this case. Aporonia is growing up fast, but is many ways she’s still young and naïve, so it’s up to her mother and I to help her make good decisions by making sure she has the knowledge she needs to make them.”

“The last thing I want is for my daughter, or anyone in our family, to suffer the terrible consequences of cervical cancer, and if there’s something we can do to lessen the chances of it ever becoming an issue, then of course we’ll do it. She’ll still need to have regular smear checks later on, but if she’s vaccinated now, then her chances (of getting cervical cancer) are hugely reduced.”

Stu believes that it’s natural for parents to want the best for their children, and sees getting Aporonia against HPV as part of giving her “the best opportunities in everything, – which of course includes her health.”

“We want our daughter to have a quality life, and while it all seems like a long way away, we know this will provide protection into her adulthood.”


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