Truth About Gardasil Makes Headlines!

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Families Use Social Media to Respond to Gardasil Side Effects

By Marcia G. Yerman, originally posted on Empowher, as well as The Huffington Post

When I originally named the final installment in the Empowher Gardasil series, the title was “A Mother Speaks Out.” Yet, I found that that one woman’s story was reflected in the journeys of parents around the world who were searching to understand why their daughters had become mysteriously ill. A series of circumstances seemed to be replicating, and the Gardasil vaccine kept popping up as a common denominator.

As parents sought to navigate a situation where their healthy daughters had become sick and, in the worse case scenario – died, they turned to the Internet for answers. Scouring the web for information, checking message boards and chat rooms, they found out that their predicament was not isolated. They reached out to others; harnessed the power of social media; created support systems and advocacy networks. They began to build a grassroots movement to square off against Merck & Co., the producer of Gardasil. Most importantly, for families who were at the start of an overwhelming and arduous process, they found a space to enter which had been constructed by those who had been there before them.

In 2009, Rosemary Mathis and Marian Green started the website TheTruthAboutGardasil. It comes up in a Google search for Gardasil second, directly underneath the Gardasil website. With a play on Merck’s advertising pitch, their tagline is “I don’t want to be ‘One Less.’ Investigate before you vaccinate.” I spoke with both women in a joint interview by telephone. They explained their struggles to understand why their daughters’ health had become impaired.

Lauren, Mathis’ 12 year-old, had been told by her pediatrician that the Gardasil vaccine was “the best thing for her.” The first shot left Lauren with nausea and headaches. She had the same symptoms three to four weeks after her second shot, and was advised that she had a “virus.” The third shot, which Lauren received in mid-August of 2008, disabled her. By September 4th, she had pains in her legs and side. A series of hospital visits determined that her gall bladder was only functioning at 7 percent of its capability. Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center found that her gall bladder was, in fact, healthy – but that something else was going on. Massive doses of antibiotics helped, but Lauren was put on a modified school schedule. At Duke University Hospital, a doctor who was slated to retire in four weeks told Mathis that her daughter had “vaccine injuries,” and prescribed medication for the ulcers in her stomach. In February of 2009, after six months of medical visits, Mathis filed a report with VAERS. Lauren missed 100 days of school. Mathis told me, “I honestly did not know if that child was going to live or die.” She continued, “She is still disabled, because she had to redo her modified school schedule this year. She is still not able to attend school on a normal basis without a lot of absences.”

Marian Greene feels that her 16-year-old daughter, Holly, was pushed to get the vaccine. An athletic girl and top runner who was being recruited by colleges, Holly had recently lost a coach and a grandfather to cancer. This predisposed her to seek protection by getting the “cervical cancer” vaccine. Holly got her first dose of Gardasil on a Thursday, and on Saturday had what she thought was an allergy attack. Sunday, she had problems breathing and took her asthma medication. The following Monday, she had severe chest pains and could not breathe. Her pallor was grey. Over nine days she repeatedly visited the emergency room, telling her mother that her “chest hurt so badly it felt like someone was ripping her heart out.” She had pericarditis, a swelling and inflammation that surrounds the heart with fluid. The doctor said it was directly caused by Gardasil, and wrote that in his report. Holly now has a team of five doctors she is working with: a cardiologist, a rheumatologist, an allergist/immunologist, a naturopath, and a pediatrician.

Mathis questions the role of pediatricians who promote Gardasil as a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, without a complete enough disclosure and informed consent process. She e-mailed me a letter from Lauren’s doctor who expressed his concern, while admitting that he was not convinced of the link to Gardasil. He wrote,

“As you know, however, I am not convinced that Gardisil is the root cause of the problem. I say this not because I trust Merck, because I don’t fully trust any of the drug companies. But I do trust the CDC, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the ACIP, who thoroughly review the vaccine research and make recommendations to the CDC. That being said, I know that new info always can show up later, so I just plan on keeping an open mind about this vaccine, like I try to do with all of the various medicines and treatments. However, I rely on the experts, and at this time they still recommend giving the vaccine.”
Green noted that in her experience with doctors in the hospital setting, there is an acknowledgement of a potential Gardasil and illness relationship. However, most of these doctors are being told by the legal departments of their institutions not to speak out publicly.

As Mathis elucidated, “You are on your own when this happens. The Internet has been a lifeline.” So their site has been set up to centralize and store information, create easy reference links, sign a petition, make connections with “Guardian Angels,” and to contextualize the fifty deaths that have occurred post-vaccine. Mathis explains, “It helps Moms just coming into the process.” Their site’s outreach is international. The countries that appear on their hits stats include Israel, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, India, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Scotland.

Jodi Speakman, the administrator of the Facebook group, “Stop Gardasil! Victoria’s Story,” spoke to me about the power of her Facebook connections. She is currently working to promote awareness of the potential side effects of Gardasil, and the issue of informed consent. “I’ve never had a problem with vaccines,” she stated flatly. “If I could vaccinate my children against anything, I would.” However, her point of view changed when two and a half weeks after her daughter Victoria received the Gardasil shot, she began having seizures and full body tremors. She was advised at Jeanes Hospital in Philadelphia that her daughter was having an “allergic reaction to something.” It didn’t occur to her to mention the vaccine. As Victoria’s symptoms grew worse, she missed her entire senior year of high school. “All of her friends have graduated and gone to college,” Speakman said. Now her goal, as she described it, “is to get help for our daughters, as we have been abandoned by the medical establishment.” She has contacted her state representatives, but was disappointed when all she received was “form letters in return.”

Others are reaching out to officials as well. Karen Maynor, a New Mexico mother whose 20-year-old daughter Megan died in November 2008, wrote a four-page letter to Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the Commissioner of the FDA. She expressed her belief in the “common link” between the young girls who have died and Gardasil. Her frustration is palpable in her statement, “No one seems to care.” Points in her correspondence included a call for tests on autoimmune disease genetics before Gardasil is administered; the inefficiency of VAERS to track adverse reactions; lack of doctor knowledge about VAERS protocol and informed consent; the explanation of the full range of side effects. The letter was sent by e-mail and postal mail to a slew of high-level people including Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Maria Shriver, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX). Maynor wrote, “Someone has to take responsibility to initiate an immediate investigation into why these deaths and illnesses occurred.”

In Australia, Stephen Tunley, founder of, had a face-to-face meeting with Australian Health Minister Nicola Roxon and the Chief Medical Officer of Australia, Professor Jim Bishop. As Tunley wrote via e-mail, he presented them with a “comprehensive file of data to consider regarding Gardasil and health issues.” The response from Bishop, responding to “specific issues” Tunley had raised at the meeting, was, “The objective scientific evidence supported by experts and governments around the world is that Gardasil remains a safe and effective vaccine.” Bishop’s final sentences in the letter states, “I trust this information will address your concerns around this vaccine. Thank you again for bringing these to my attention.” This phrase can be viewed as conscientious, or as a supreme brush off.

David and Freda Birrell have been active in Scotland. Freda Birrell, who is involved with, sent me comments via e-mail about her political experience in the United Kingdom. Her advice to her American counterparts was “to try to alert as many elected representatives” about the vaccine as possible. In New Zealand, efforts have been put forth by Julie Smith, with her website has 269 entries on Gardasil, including a link to a CNN report. Numerous sites point to genetic traits or predispositions that can be triggered by Gardasil, and warnings not to get the vaccine bundled with other shots.

Another website that is prominent in posting and disseminating information has been, run by Leslie Carol Botha, a health educator and broadcast journalist. In an e-mail exchange she discussed how her site, a repository for articles on women’s health, has featured close to 700 articles on Gardasil. She wrote, “I think that the social media networking has made all of the difference in the world – and changed the fabric of how information is passed. This is the first time that Big Pharma has seen a ground swell of people come out against their vaccine.” Her archives include “research papers posted on the vaccines and numerous PDF files on adverse reactions.” Botha attributes the worldwide connections to creating a movement of awareness.

The grandmother of Jessica Ericzon found Botha’s site when she was searching for answers to Jessica’s death. I spoke with Jessica’s mother, Lisa Ericzon. She has been in touch with three other women who have lost their daughters. “We call each other when we are down,” she told me. Before ending our conversation she said, “I never want to hear another mother say, ‘I didn’t have an idea.’ Because,” she added, “I didn’t have a clue.” Thank you, Marcia!


18 Responses to “Truth About Gardasil Makes Headlines!”

  1. I have an appointment to start the vaccine. I think I’m going to cancel.

  2. [...] “As of the summer of 2009, there have been more than 15,000 thousand reported reactions to Gar… [...]

  3. All parents should be informed by there childs doctor that there are lots of serious problems with this vaccine. Our niece has had the vaccine and has had lots of medical problems since. Mercck’s own lead resercher states the this vaccine does not help prevent cervical cancer. Its another drug company looking at profits not at what is best for the consumer. My wife and I are both nurses and are reccommending that no one should take this vaccine period. We also believe that sometimes doctors advise patients to get vaccines and take the newest medications for profit kickbacks from drug companies. May God protect and look after you.

  4. Do Not Get this vaccine. My daughter got it in aug. 2007 and has been chronically ill since!!

  5. My daughter had one of her episodes about 10 mins ago. I am so angry I can scream. She started on the Gardasil injections in 2007. She has been sick ever since with mild seizures, staring spells, pain and numbness in her arms and legs. I’m holding on with everything a got. I can’t help her if Im sick and sometimes I feel like breaking down!

  6. I’m sorry, but I don’t care what the FDA or the CDC say about this poison: Nobody is coming near my daughter with this stuff!!

    I’m tired of drugs being pushed down our throats so the pharmaceutical companies can make big money at the expense of our loved ones. My mom recently was prescribed a medication and I Googled it for her. It was a chemical often used in bathroom cleaners to remove soap scum. Needless to say, she didn’t fill it. The FDA has admitted that they can’t keep up with everything going on in their office and often times, things get approved based on the drug company’s findings, not the FDA’s. To me that is a big red flag saying don’t use anything they have approved because who knows what it will do to you?

    My heart goes out to all the girls suffering from Gardasil. May this be a lesson -I’m sorry at their expense- that we need to be more aware of what the FDA is allowing to be done to us. May God bless all those who are no longer with us or those who are suffering now from the poison we call Gardasil.

  7. Susan – be very careful. I said the same thing!! NO ONE IS COMING NEAR MY 11 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WITH THIS VACCINE!

    However: During our doctor’s visit for a school physical two weeks ago, after I made it EXTREMELY clear that I was against this vaccine, the nurse drew up the wrong vaccine and instead of the Meningitis vaccine (required to start school next year for her) – she injected her with Gardosil. The doctor came to me with the mistake about 15 minutes after we left the exam room (I never left my daughter’s side during the exam or injections.)

    We’ve had nothing but mood swings, pain, tingling arms, and issues ever since. Tell everyone – warn everyone – make ANY injections be drawn IN FRONT of YOU! You have the right to watch and inspect the vial that the nurses/doctor’s draw from. You have the right to watch. Had I known that, I would have saved some serious issues – both mental and legal!

  8. Brandi that is very curious! The SAME THING HAPPENED to my daughter…almost. I caught it, and had a fit. The nurse proceeded to lecture me about my daughter’s health.

    My husband works in the pharma industry and no one he works with would give this to their daughters. Listen to the language in the commercial: “may prevent cancer”.
    That is very vague. It had to be, to get by the FDA, because they have NO long term data to prove that it works, since 14 year olds rarely get diagnosed with cervical cancer, especially the kind caused by HPV.
    It is remarkable they can call it a vaccine at all. It only claims to “prevent” cervical cancer caused by HPV.
    Not the other kinds and according to the American Cancer Society “Most women with HPV infection do not develop cervical cancer. In many cases, the infection may even disappear without any treatment, because the woman’s immune system has been successful in fighting the
    virus.” and “Women who smoke are about twice as likely as
    nonsmokers to get cervical cancer.”
    I also find curious that if men are carriers of HPV (and it can cause cancers in them too) why aren’t they getting the vaccine too?

    In my opinion this

  9. Both my daughters were vaccinated but I wouldn’t have let them had I known about the deception and possible damage. My eldest daughter seemed to have absolutely no problems at all. Her sister developed mononucleosis within a month of her third dose. I course the gardasil doesn’t CAUSE mono but I’m inclined to believe the vaccine could well have compromised her immune system so that as all teens are generally exposed – she developed it. She was quite ill for a month – enlarged spleen – laid in bed to weak to get up. This child is usually healthy as a horse and doesn’t catch anything! I feel very fortunate that we got off this easy. But I just discovered today that the vaccine’s protection only lasts for 3 to 5 years. WHAT! We are taking these risks for a year or two of “protection” for a possibly short lived expensive vaccine. That in itself is ridiculous. Obviously looking to the government for protection is a mistake – they are very much part of the problem. I am very sorry for those who suffered severe illness and death that may be attributed to the vaccine and poor management of research and reporting of adverse events. God bless those that suffer and grant them strength and courage to do on.

  10. I received the gardasil vaccine in 2008. After the first and second shot I didn’t feel quite right but I didn’t correlate it to the shot. After the third shot, I had 3 seizures within a short time frame. I truly believe that Gardasill is to blame.

    My sister received the shot at the same time. Ever since getting the shots she has had abnormal papsmears.

  11. I received the shots in 2008, my mother warned me not to get the shots.But I got it anyway a short while after I got my first shot, I started having real bad headaches and pelvic pain.Just yesterday on July 7,2010 my doctor told me I had HPV. I told him that I got my Gardasill shots in 2008 and thats when he said that I probably had it before then. I knew he was lying because all my papsmears were normal up until I got those shots. And now im afraid that my life is in danger!

  12. My daughter got her injections because I thought by the comercials she would benefit from the possility of getting cancer. I didnot do my research!!!! She developed “INSTANT” depression after 1st injection. I thought where has my daughter done???? After 2nd injection, swings of du ja vu. Then the petit mal seizures started. We did the 3rd injection never relating the GADASIL! Where did these seizures come from??? Very athletic young woman, happy, outgoing, smart. Now, 17 drs. later, she is just suffering!!!! Never get these shots. Merck needs to stop these now!!!! I even wrote letters to Gov. Pery of Texas who took $5000 kick back from Merck lobbist.

  13. Bonjour , Joli blog Je traite du m?me sujet sur mon site. Je me permettrai de reprendre de votre texte. En vous citant bien sur et si vous le permettez. Je parle aussi de sujet comme assurance deces ou comme assurance deces. Merci, James

  14. Other types of vaccinations are also destroying the lives of children and adults. Australia recently banned the flu vaccination because hundreds of children were hospitalized. I have heard that the same vaccination will be offered in the US this fall. Please read Dr. Mercola’s site. He is not afraid to speak up. You can also read Natural News to learn the painful truth. Also check out the numerous videos on YouTube. I know of one person who got Polio from the Polio vaccination and another who died from the Swine flu vaccination this past year. After conventional medicine almost destroyed my life, I am so freakin scared that I won’t even get near a Doctor. Our beloved govmt has passed a law that we cannot sue the makers of vaccinations. Also when the next false pandemic occurs our govmt can legally force us to be vaccinated or imprision us. Herd mentality medication has to STOP!

  15. My daughter Amy at 18 received in July 2009 #1 HPV vaccine as well as Menactra Meningitis vaccine at same time, started college had “sleepwalking episode” first night August 25, 2009(not normal for her) MRI next day = normal brain info; #2 HPV September 2009 “sleepwalking episode #2″ the night before coming home in November 2009 for Thanksgiving; then on vacation January 3, 2010 has an actual seizure that family witnesses; (after her seizure that we witnessed, we put things together that she did not have actual sleep walking, she had seizures-she was assisted by people on her dorm floor at college, they thought she was drunk or on drugs, and because she is of college age, parents do not get a call in middle of the night) sleep/seizure study and EEG both show seizure activity; both doctors primary and neurologist do not feel coorelated to vaccines – well what is causing them then? VAERS does feel they are serious side effect from her vaccines – what I do not understand is why doctors do not feel these seizures are related to vaccines, she has had a normal healthy life to now, she is a trooper, takes Keppra 2 times a day and attends college, mom and dad have both had many sleepless nights, but because of the finanacial committment we did not feel we could have her stay at home and not get her education, she says she feels ok now, but we take this day to day, we feel fortunate she tries to live a normal life, she is on cross-country team for her college and is doing well to date. This has been the most frustrating year with medical appointments, etc. We have encouraged her to eat a healthy diet, take her vitamins, and medication and wait for the next symptom to arise if it is going to. We do need to stand together as families for these girls, they do not know what is going on in their bodies. I was referred to this site and am shocked at the stories and information I have read. A side note, my older daughter had her vaccines somewhat in the same time frame, only in 2007/2008 and she had the UTIs and Mononucleousis, dizziness, I never attributed it to the vaccines until my research about seizures.

  16. I am not shocked by the above letters because I decided years ago not to give vaccines to my children or my dogs!! I had a dreadful reaction to a Smallpox vaccination and many years later developed Smallpox – although the specialists in the isolation hospital said it was a ‘mutant form of cowpox’ or chickenpox. Well, I had chickenpox as a child so it wasn’t that. When I discharged myself from hospital after a week my nextdoor neighbour came in to see me and his reaction was ‘You have Smallpox’ – and how did he know? He had been the last person sent to Porton Down in England with smallpox which he contracted from a vaccination!!! I was very ill in hospital and the medical photographer took so many pictures of me – it was obvious that it wouldn’t have been done for a mundane disease like chickenpox. Keep away from all vaccines and they often contain mercury too. I feel so sad for all the young lives that have been damaged by this Gardasil vaccination. Shame on the producers of this evil drug.

  17. I am a primary care pediatrician in suburban USA. I have been giving Gardasil in my office for the past 3 – 4 years and must have used more than a thousand doses so far. I have so far not encountered even one case of the side effects that this site says are so common. Many times when people complain of side effects from a certain drug or vaccine, on checking further some other cause comes to light. I have not even had people report such side effects so far. I am not on the payroll of any big pharma and only work for my patients, who I feel place their trust in me and I will not let them down. I feel this site and article feeds misinformation and will further distance people from a vaccine which may change the face of female cancers in the future. After reading this article I will start asking more questions and check with VAERS if what this site professes is true and whether there have really been that many confirmed side effects reported. In the meantime I will stand by the recommendations of American Academy of Pediatrics which I feel does not have a vested interest. I have given the vaccine to my children and will advise others to do so too.

  18. How many people have returned after getting vaccinated complaining of flu-like symptoms, headaches, severe fatigue, stomach pains, anything out of the ordinary? How many of your patients have not finished the series? Are you saying you have not personally seen anything you believe to be a side effect or adverse reaction, or are you saying you don’t believe these ill-effects are possible? My daughter made a believer out of several of her doctors after they witnessed her decline.

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