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A father's love for his daughter

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 Herpes 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 viruses.

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 cure.

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