Letter 7: From Nisa
I am truly heartbroken for you. You passed away far too soon and I’m so sorry for the
situation your family has been dealt. It is never easy for anyone to comprehend loss
but I imagine it is even harder when a death is completely preventable, now that we
know what the cause is.
I felt compelled to write to you, for similar reasons that the other letters mentioned
before me. You reminded me of so many women I personally know--young, healthy,
and attentive to our bodies. I’m one of those women! Your tragedy could have happened to any of us.
As a public health student and as someone deeply involved in sexual health and reproductive rights at my university, I was shocked to hear about the dangers of Yaz through your story. First, I was infuriated. Your parents’ investigation revealed so much about the truth behind these products and pharmaceutical companies. Secondly, I was mortified that I had never heard of the Yaz controversy before. I remembered the girly ads, but not much else. Nobody mentioned it--not my professors, my doctors, my fellow sexual health educators, or my friends who use birth control pills. I was bewildered by the minimal coverage given to these urgent, tragic cases by the mainstream media. That’s why this project makes all the difference! Sometimes it takes a story that really resonates with you to realize the severity of an issue. Even if the media doesn’t pick it up, an everyday woman who reads about your experience might.
I am so grateful to you and your family for sharing your story. Your family has done an incredible job carrying the difficult duty of spreading awareness and fighting for justice. I wish they won the fight with Bayer, but their advocacy is still so important. You and your family have opened up my eyes to the dangers of drospirenone and moreover, to the reality that I should investigate the risks of all products, even if they are popular or common drugs. While I’ve already warned my sister and friends to check the hormones in their brands of birth control, I promise to continue spreading your story. If I’m lucky enough to have a career in women’s health, I’ll be sure to keep your experience in mind when addressing oral contraceptives and letting women know that there are safer options of birth control pills than Yaz.
Thank you again for sharing your story and potentially saving so many women’s lives.