Lily is a 27-year-old survivor of cervical cancer, and she recently shared her experience with the Minnesota Department of Health in the hopes of encouraging other young women to be regularly screened and vaccinated.

“I kept putting off my regularly scheduled pap smear because as a young woman in her 20s, I didn’t think I NEEDED to go to that one appointment. I could likely skip one and be just fine. Okay, maybe skip two and still be just fine.”

After experiencing discomfort and bleeding, Lily finally booked herself a gynecological appointment and discovered that a cancerous tumor had grown in her cervix. She writes candidly about a treatment experience that was an exhausting emotional rollercoaster and that she would never wish upon anyone, but she knows that sharing her story might be an important reminder to others to be screened regularly.

“I want to tell other women to get regular pap smears and to get the HPV vaccine because now I cannot have a child of my own…Vaccination and screening are preventative care, and you don’t want to end up in a situation like mine.”

Read Lily’s full story here.