Mother's Day is around the corner and it is always a poignant day of reflection for me.
I had disclosed in a previous newsletter that I could never bear children due to a complete hysterectomy when I was 17 years old. I made sexual choices as a teenager that caused permanent and long-lasting effects on my life because of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Since then, I have experienced many abdominal surgeries due to the damaging results of the disease. My early life choices have haunted me for many years, and when I accepted the position as CEO of Informed Choices, it became a mission of mine to implement free Limited STD Testing.
I want to educate and empower the women who walk into our clinic by offering information and testing for the two most prolific STDs, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. I contracted Chlamydia, which, if left untreated due to a lack of symptoms, can turn into pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is what happened to me. Approximately 75% of women show no symptoms when contracting Chlamydia. (https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/chlamydia#1)
While Informed Choices believes in abstinence and family planning, we know the world struggles with this. We provide a safe place for women to be heard, cared for, and share factual information and treatments to make healthy sexual choices. We want them to experience a joyous Mother’s Day, not overshadowed with feelings of shame or regret like I once had.
I am incredibly excited to announce that we will begin offering Limited STD Testing for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia in May! Being able to provide this service for the women in our community helps heal my old wounds, knowing there is hope for them to celebrate Mother’s Day as it was intended.
Thank YOU for faithfully partnering with us to continue our mission of Supporting Women, Upholding Life!