Kath is an inspirational speaker who educates, entertains and challenges.
Someone whose life was completely re-made when she acquired HPV, leading to surgery that removed her vulva and her ability to have sexual intercourse.
Her willingness to speak on this issue is a reaction to her treatment: flippant health professionals, the cancer diagnosis delivered over the phone, mutilation by surgery, physical and psychological pain, and the shroud of secrecy.
With gentle humour and authenticity, Kath challenges us to move past the secrecy; to create a new vocabulary that empowers women and generates better health outcomes. An open conversation that calls a vulva a vulva. And a vagina a vagina. Removing the stigma and the shame.
There is a powerful message here about the power of conversation to bring about change. Not just in sexual health, but wherever people gather to solve problems.
Kath’s story is a great example of resilience and the courage of normal people to stand for change. Her project, International Gynaecological Awareness Day, is now unstoppable. But looking outside sexual health, what is exciting, and what is relevant for all of us, is the idea that those things in the middle of the room that everybody tip-toes around, can actually be discussed. And those discussions will turn our lives around.