Guest Blogger: The Active Girl’s Guide to Ovarian Cancer Awareness
Our readers know that we love guest bloggers and a faithful Facebook fan reached out to us and asked to be featured in our blog. Ellen (pictured below) writes in honor of her mother and anyone else who might ever have to face this disease.
Ellen’s story begins like so many others: Her mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer and given a 30% chance of survival. She had had the disease for over a year before it was diagnosed – which seems to be an all-too-common refrain.
While her mother was busy fighting her own battle, Ellen took it upon herself to wage a war on ovarian cancer and participated in events, wrote letters to her local newspapers, and did everything and anything she could to raise awareness about this awful disease.
Sadly, Ellen’s mom passed in May 2012, but her spirit – and Ellen’s strength – continue to shine. Ellen’s still actively involved in the war on ovarian cancer and lent us her voice for the following guest post. You will love her enthusiasm and her high energy levels are contagious. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself signing up for a 5K fundraiser run by time you’re done reading!
Thank you, Ellen, for taking the time to do the research needed for this piece. It’s evident that you have a true passion for finding a cure and raising funds/awareness for this disease. Ovarian cancer needs people like you, and people like you will make a positive difference!
The Active Girl’s Guide to Ovarian Cancer Awareness
by Ellen, Take Back Teal Guest Blogger
Finding a cure for Ovarian Cancer is a cause I carry close to my heart. I lost my mother to this awful disease in 2012. Watching my mother battle this illness for eight years really lit a fire in me to raise more awareness for Ovarian Cancer.
As with many women, my mother had cancer for a year before it was diagnosed. By that time, it was already at stage four. My mother demonstrated great strength and perseverance, and did everything in her power to beat cancer. I was in awe of how she still lived with such a zest for life, and really did not let the cancer take over.
When the cancer finally took her this past May, I began to research anything I could possibly do, to not only promote awareness, but to raise money for research, and patient support. Not only do I want to honor my mother, I don’t want another family to have to face what mine did.
I truly believe in the power of one, that one person can make a difference. That is why I reached out to Take Back Teal and asked if I could share some of the wonderful opportunities there are for you to do to help in the fight against Ovarian Cancer. You are already making a different by wearing Teal on Tuesdays. Imagine what you could do if you just did one more thing this year to break the silence on Ovarian Cancer.
First, let’s talk about raising awareness. I would start simple and reach out to your local newspapers. I wrote a letter to the editor in September promoting Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. I listed the devastating facts of Ovarian Cancer, and gave some options of what my fellow citizens could do to help. I try and write my local newspapers every six months, and vary my subject matter enough to get published again. Having the letter on the newspaper’s website and printed can reach a wide audience.
In addition, use your Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and/or Instagram pages to promote awareness. Obtain literature from the NOCC or another organization and display it at your place of work, hand it out to your friends, or include it in your Christmas cards. Host an event or fundraiser benefiting Ovarian Cancer, and be sure to pass out literate there, too.
Participate in events such as Turn the Towns Teal, join the TEAL initiative, give Teal nail polish as gifts and include information from Teal Toes. There are so many ways to promote Ovarian Cancer awareness. The possibilities are endless. Be creative; just get the word out there.
I am a very active person and so I enjoy participating in endurance events. There are many great programs out there. Make it a goal this year to participate by yourself or start a team. Here are some upcoming events. Look into them and get active for a cure! I completed two half marathons in 2012, and raised over $4000 for cancer!
- Let’s ROC in California (Date not set)
- Wheel to Survive February 17th, 2013 Dallas, TX
- SAO Midnight 5k March 1st, 2013 Wilmington, NC
- LJT Foundation 4 Ovarian Cancer 5k February 9th, 2013
- SheRox Team Hope (Dates vary)
- Ovarian Cycle Birmingham, AL (Dates vary)
- Walk Across America Atlantic City, NJ (Dates vary)
- 100 Voice for Hope (Dates vary)
In addition to raising awareness or funds, advocacy is also another importance factor. You can help by writing letters or e-mails to your elected officials. Let them know that funding is important, and why. Join the Grasstops Advocacy Program through the OCNA. Sign up to receive Action Alerts and do your part in helping pass important laws and/or policies regarding Ovarian Cancer. Sign the petition for the Ovarian Cancer postage stamp. Use your voice to advocate for Ovarian Cancer.
If you have time to give to Ovarian Cancer, why not volunteer? I have named a few, but here are some more non- profits always looking for help. You can also visit their websites to see if they have chapters in your town. I challenge you to do some research and see what other opportunities you can find!
- The Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation (PA) http://www.sandyovarian.org/
- The Normal Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation (AL) http://nlovca.org/
- The Sue DiNaploi Ovarian Cancer Foundation (CO) http://www.beovaryaware.org/
- The Ovarian Cancer Awareness Foundation (Varies by state)
- The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance http://www.ovariancancer.org/
- The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition http://www.ovarian.org/
- The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund http://www.ocrf.org/
Similarly, I love to shop. Did you know that many stores donate a portion of their profits to Ovarian Cancer? Visit http://shop.ovariancancer.org/shop/ and shop until your heart is content. Supporting the supporters of Ovarian Cancer also goes a long way.
Also – if you live in the Washington D.C. area – why not attend the Turn Up the Heat Gala- A Celebration of Women Chefs. It is put on by the OCNA and is used to raise awareness and support programs for Ovarian Cancer. How fun would it be to dine, bid on the wonderful items in the silent auction, and listen to some experts speak about Ovarian Cancer! This wonderful event is being held on February 4th, at the DC Ritz Carlton. Visit the OCNA’s website to book your tickets now.
Now that you are well versed in the many ways to join the fight against Ovarian Cancer, please use some of the resources above, and the websites I have provided help us make a change. Put Ovarian Cancer in the spotlight! Keep participating in Take Back Teal, and keep fighting for a cure!
It only takes one person to make a difference.
In the words of Edward Everett Hale: “I am only one, but still, I am one. I cannot do everything but I can do something. And, because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do what I can.”
Please do what you can. Thank you!
- Turn it Teal Tuesday – Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation, Inc. (takebackteal.wordpress.com)
- Ovarian Cancer Deaths Fall By 20%, England (medicalnewstoday.com)
- KU Med gets $100K for ovarian cancer research (kansascity.com)
- Celebrity/Public Figure Support? (takebackteal.wordpress.com)