September 17, 2006
In one way or another, cancer affects almost every American, somehow. This year there's been a lot of attention paid to Cervical Cancer, the virus that can cause it- HPV, and a new vaccine that could prevent it. Now a performer is on the road trying to raise awareness about the disease.
Christine Baze is first and foremost a musician. She's also a cervical cancer survivor. She's combined both in her 'Yellow Umbrella' concert tour, which is raising awareness about, what she calls, a very preventable disease.
"This is a cancer that we have the answer to," said Baze. "It's like we have all of the information here now. We just have to use it."
Baze was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer in 2000. She got treatment and returned to music two years later, with a new goal: educating women through her story and her music.
But how do you include cancer, a very serious issue, in a concert tour while still having fun and entertaining an audience?
"We try to make it fun and empowering because this is a cancer that we have the answers to, so this is something we can all rally around and feel good about," said Baze, smiling.
The musician said if women avoid a trip to the doctor because they find it invasive, they should think again...
"What's invasive is a radical Hysterectomy. What's invasive is internal radiation," she said. "Having someone poke around and getting cells from your cervix, and putting them on a slide, that can save your life. It's so simple."
The 'Yellow Umbrella' tour is now in it's fourth year. It started with just one show, but this fall the tour makes stops in more than thirty cities. Baze says the experience is a dream come true.
"I'm a songwriter, and I sing about what I know, which is my life, the good and the bad that comes with that," she explained. "So I try to be very real with whatever I do."