Seahawk Earl Thomas’ parents visit Fred Hutch

Hutch News

Seahawk Earl Thomas’ parents visit Fred Hutch

Debbie Thomas, cervical cancer survivor, met Dr. Denise Galloway and discussed HPV vaccine

July 31, 2015
Debbie Thomas and Dr. Denise Galloway

Debbie Thomas, mother of Seahawks' free safety Earl Thomas III, talks with Dr. Denise Galloway. The NFL star's 2-year-old daughter, Kaleigh Rose, listens in.

Photo by Bo Jungmayer / Fred Hutch News Service

Most Seattle Seahawks fans know Earl Thomas III as the finest free safety in the game. But to his parents, Debbie and Earl Thomas Jr., he’ll always be “Little Earl,” their miracle child. The proud couple visited Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on Friday to meet Dr. Denise Galloway, whose work helped pinpoint human papillomaviruses as the cause of nearly all cervical cancers.

Debbie Thomas is a cervical cancer survivor who famously chose to risk death from the disease 28 years ago rather than undergo a hysterectomy. Two years later, cancer-free, she bore a son, who has brought joy to legions of Seahawks fans.

Galloway explained how giving the HPV vaccine to boys and girls before they become sexually active could spare women around globe from the agony of cervical cancer. “Some parents won’t allow it,” said Debbie Thomas, “and that is crazy.”

Dr. Denise Galloway and Debbie Thomas

Dr. Denise Galloway explains the worldwide incidence of cervical cancer to Debbie Thomas. It kills one woman every two minutes around the globe, she said.

Photo by Bo Jungmayer / Fred Hutch News Service

Earl Thomas Jr., his wife Debbie, and granddaughter Kaleigh Rose

Earl Thomas Jr., his wife Debbie, and granddaughter Kaleigh Rose, in the lobby of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Photo by Bo Jungmayer / Fred Hutch News Service

Has cervical cancer affected your life or the life of a loved one? Tell us about it on Facebook.

Are you interested in reprinting or republishing this story? Be our guest! We want to help connect people with the information they need. We just ask that you link back to the original article, preserve the author’s byline and refrain from making edits that alter the original context. Questions? Email us at communications@fredhutch.org


(RSS feeds are best viewed in browsers other than Chrome)

Editor's Picks

GIVE NOW &
SAVE LIVES

Support our quest for cures

Story Archive


Publications

Hutch Magazine
Our quarterly magazine

Annual Report
Fiscal year highlights

Science Spotlight
Monthly review of Center-authored papers



Fred Hutch News

        Get updates via email.