Transcript: Cervical cancer at 27: Woman’s story illustrates the importance of screening

In a living room, an Asian woman sits at a round table, looking over greeting cards. A blue chyron appears with white text within it.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          Minneapolis, Minnesota

WOMAN: So, I’ve kept all of the cards that were sent to me when I was sick.

Text is written in pen on the green card.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          Hi, Lily –

                                    I’ve been thinking about you and sending prayers and well wishes your way.
                                    How are you doing? Hang in there. If there is anything I could do for you that
                                    would be helpful, please let me know – some favorite something that you need,
                                    want, etc.

The greeting cards sit piled on the table atop each other, strewn about the wooden surface.


WOMAN: Hi, Lily I’ve been thinking about you and sending prayers. I know we are all behind you if there’s anything you need. Prayers for you until you’re well. Please use this when you need it. Every single one that I would open would just give me that little amount of strength.

Photos of Lily in a hospital bed appear, as well as having blood taken and a doctor checking her heartbeat with a stethoscope. She interviews sitting on a couch covered by a blanket. A chyron appears with white text.


ON SCREEN TEXT:          Lily Taylor

LILY: You just don’t think about those things, you just think that you’re young and you’re gonna be healthy, and you’re gonna be fine.

A grey-haired woman interviews on a bench. A chyron appears with white text.


ON SCREEN TEXT:          Gretchen Taylor

GRETCHEN: Lily called, and she said she had cervical cancer. And we’re just shocked, could hardly breathe really and couldn’t believe it. “How can this happen, she’s only in her twenties” y’know? This doesn’t happen to young people.

In a photo, Lily holds out her arm with an IV tube attached to it.

LILY: Honestly it was Kevin.

In a flickering photograph, a man with a shaved head kisses Lily on the cheek while she laughs.

LILY: After enough times of me complaining and his seeing the blood too, he said “You just gotta go in.” I went in just for a regular checkup. I assumed that I had like, maybe a pelvic infection and that I was gonna get some antibiotics and be done. And she came back a couple minutes later and said that she had made kind of a um, end of the day appointment to go see a specialist.

A man with dark hair interviews in an armchair. A chyron appears with text.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          Kevin Keefe

KEVIN: That’s probably one of the most anxiety-ridden points. The only thing you do know is that something bad is on the horizon.

LILY: And the first thing he said was, “Hi Lily, I regret to inform you,” and that’s when I just completely shut off.

GRETCHEN: Really afraid that she might not survive. That’s the reality of cancer.

In a photograph, a nurse holds a device against Lily’s arm and looks at a monitor. In others, she sleeps in a motorized armchair, and on a bed with a shaved head.

LILY: Daily radiation, chemo, internal radiation, and then another round of chemo. To be so young even going to chemo I was the youngest person there, I didn’t really have a lot of people to talk to about this.

She gazes thoughtfully out a window as light pours inside.

LILY: I went into a really big depression every single day just thinking about how I—I don’t know. I went to some dark places, that’s for sure.

GRETCHEN: It’s not just physical, it’s definitely emotional too.

Lily, Gretchen, and Kevin sit at the table, pulling wristbands out of a glass jar.

LILY: Bracelets whenever I go to the doctor. You can see it turns out to be quite a few bracelets here.

GRETCHEN: I’m so grateful that Lily survived. Grateful that she has remained cancer free for now over five years.

She holds up a framed document, with handwriting in the middle.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          No evidence of Disease.

LILY: I’m doing good, I’m married now to Kevin.

KEVIN: She’s beautiful. She’s sweet.

LILY: I’m doing things that I would never have guessed five years ago that I would be doing now.

In a photograph, Lily stands at a podium in front of a crowd. A shirt is hung of the front with text.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          Proud sponsor of the

GRETCHEN: She has spoken at the Capitol as part of Cervical Cancer Awareness.

She and Gretchen smile in a photo, holding a sign that reads “Vaccines Save Lives.”

LILY: Get your PAP smear, get the HPV vaccine.

GRETCHEN: Help other people avoid her experience and not get cervical cancer.

In a hospital room, Lily points to a sign above her head with cursive text printed on it.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          Cervivor

She holds open a card, smiling.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          Yahoo!
                                    You Did It!        Love,

LILY: When you feel like something isn’t right, speak up about it. Be an advocate for yourself because you deserve it.

A blue u-shaped logo appears against a white background, followed by text.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          United