Indiana family speaks on importance of getting HPV vaccination after loved one dies

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indiana family is hoping sharing their loved one’s story may prevent someone else from contracting Human Papilloma Virus, better known as HPV.

Candice Sahm-Watkins, 36, was a fighter. When she was diagnosed with cancer four years ago, she was determined to kick it. Candice was a mother, wife, daughter, and a sibling. She couldn’t throw in the towel.

“She went through numerous surgeries, numerous chemo treatments, numerous radiations and November 12th they said there was nothing else they can do,” Candice’s mother Shari Sahm said.

After a tough battle, she passed away on January 19, 2019. Candice’s family said the cancer was linked to HPV.

The CDC reports millions of Americans are infected with it but only a little over 31,000 of them will be affected by cancer because of it.

“She was my big sister and like Brittany even said. There are a lot of people that have it. A lot of females that can have it and it doesn’t cause an issue for them, but there’s always that one chance,” Candice’s brother Zach Sahm said.

“If speaking about her and sharing her story saves just one person’s life or it encourages one person to go get the vaccine it significantly outweighs benefits to the risk of getting the vaccination,” Candice’s sister Brittany Kronmiller said.

Candice’s family wants people to strongly consider getting the HPV vaccination to save anyone else from the heartache they’re experiencing.

In the meantime, they will continue to reflect on her life. They are grateful for the time they had with her.

“If there is a problem with people going through this there is hope always,” Candice’s 11-year-old daughter Shayla Watkins said.

“Thank you Candice and we love you. You will always be our riser,” Kronmiller said.

Candice’s family is having a silent auction this weekend to help raise money for her kids and some of the proceeds will go to cancer research.

The auction will be at Barton’s Pub in Emmerison on Saturday starting at 2 p.m.

This week also marked the first ever HPV awareness week. To learn more about HPV, click here.

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