Tribute to a lost Gardasil Girl: Santana Gabrielle Valdez

March 27, 3:40 PMVaccines ExaminerNorma Erickson

Santana Gabrielle Valdez was born with a smile on her face, October 28, 1988. Her enthusiasm and zest for life were apparent from the very beginning. She had a certain gift for bringing joy to those around her.

As she grew, you could always find her surrounded by a group of children eager to be entertained by her stories and games. She loved them and they loved her. Her 2 year old niece was just one of her constant companions. But, children were not her only fans. Santana attracted people like a magnet. Everyone wanted to be a part of the zest for life that permeated every aspect of Santana’s existence.

Santana was one of those rare children who always believed in Angels. She knew they were here to watch over and protect us. She never questioned the spiritual side of life; she just knew.

Santana was her mother’s best friend. They did everything together and shared each others’ secrets, dreams, hopes, and desires. Santana knew mom always harbored a secret desire to travel. Mom knew Santana was afraid of death. No parent could ask for more.

Santana had a habit of calling her mom several times throughout the day, just to check in and see what mom was up to at the time. One day, she didn’t call and mom became concerned. She went home to find her best friend had died in her sleep. The date: August 31, 2007– less than four months after her last injection of Gardasil.

Santana left behind a family desperately searching for answers. The coroner could find no cause of death, she was dumbfounded. Mom needs to know why her healthy, vibrant, loving best friend is gone. Her niece wants to know when Santana will ‘come back from heaven’. She is only four years old now, and still thinks the cemetary is heaven. Her brother spends his time trying to fill Santana’s shoes. Her grandfather’s health has been steadily declining since Santana’s demise. This is a family searching to find out why they were left with a huge hole where Santana used to live.

Santana’s mother says:

Her memory will live on forever, through the eyes and hearts of all who knew her. She touched so many in her short life! We needed more time with her!



Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.