I have a real hero in my family whose accomplishments and deeds would be
an inspiration to your vast audience. Her cause and the role she so admirably
plays is worthy of true consideration by you and for the thousands of similarly,
afflicted men and women. My daughter, Marisa Pollak, has
genital Herpes and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), commonly known as genital
warts. She is now "out of the closet" and assisting others to understand and
live powerfully with these seemingly social stigmas.
My daughter has been a successful hair stylist for the past ten years and
has a steady clientele who love her for the styling and coloring she does, as
well as, for her candid manner in dealing with the Herpes and HPV virus. Marisa also
educates their children on STD's and where to look on the Internet for great
factual information regarding questions about their sexual health.
She is 35 years old and has never married with no children. Marisa was
reluctant to discuss her health problem with her parents, let alone with
friends. This suddenly all changed when she found a Herpes and HPV oriented web site
catering to those that have Herpes and HPV.
Herpes and HPV are the fastest spreading STDs in the world. Genital
is one of the most common diseases, with the number of diagnoses increasing by
30 percent since the 1970s. One in four Americans - an estimated 45 million
people - is believed to have genital herpes and it is estimated that 90 percent
of the population has Herpes Type 1, more commonly known as cold sores or fever
blisters. HPV is also on the rise. It is estimated that at least 75 percent of
people who are sexually active have the virus in some form or another.
Marisa has made it her mission to change public perception about herpes
and HPV. She has become a spokesperson traveling across the country on life
after herpes and helps those who feel unloved find self-acceptance once again.
She talks about herpes at the rockabilly shows, in which she emcees in Southern
California and passes out herpes bumpers stickers.
During International Herpes Week, Marisa had created the first ribbon for
people with herpes and HPV. The ribbon is purple and bares a symbol of a heart.
Purple represents courage on the battlefield of herpes and HPV. The heart
signifies self love and love for others - the most important facet to overcoming
the emotional pain brought on by the two viruses.
My wife and I are very proud of Marisa. Living with a socially
unacceptable disease is heart breaking for most, but my daughter is making the
most of it and assisting so many to know they can be happy, too. She is teaching
so many people of all ages and even her family about Herpes, HPV and living with
it successfully - what an accomplishment for someone who could not even say the
word herpes and genital warts out loud for her almost 15 years with these two
I am in my 80th year and served my country as a decorated combat Infantry
Officer in WW II. When I was in combat under General Patton in France and
Germany, I faced an enemy that I was taught how to fight and survive, which I
did and became a decorated hero. Marisa, however, is the real hero, because she
and others like her fight the battle of living with a virus without a weapon or
not the end of the world
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