30 Days of Teal
If you’re like me, you know exactly when Breast Cancer Awareness Month is. But if you’re also like me, after you were diagnosed with ovarian cancer you took to Google to see when your month was...September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. 30 days of teal, something we don’t take lightly.
What is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month?
New to Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month? Don’t worry, I was once too.
For those of us who’ve either heard the words “you have ovarian cancer” or have a loved one who’s been affected by this horrible disease, it’s our opportunity to create awareness...better said, turn the whisper into a roar so more individuals know the signs/symptoms of ovarian cancer.
With roughly 18% or less diagnosed in the early stages, when treatment is more effective and recurrence rates are significantly lower, taking the opportunity to share the key things to look for and the fact that there is no preventative screening test in place to date for ovarian cancer is important. I had no clue what to look for or that my annual pap smear wasn’t screening for ovarian cancer.
For me, it's about stories, education, and research
For me personally, I focus on two main elements – sharing not only my story and the signs/symptoms but others as well and fundraising efforts. For the last 4 years, I’ve taken the opportunity each September to allow other women to share their stories – the age they were diagnosed, their stage, and the type of ovarian cancer they had in hopes of creating more awareness.
Each of us has a different experience with the diseases, more than likely each of us was a different age when diagnosed – the hope is that if one person is able to remember what one of these women had to say, it could lead to an early diagnosis for someone, before the later stages, saving a life.
Let's talk fundraising
Fundraising is twofold for me – specifically for ovarian cancer and for cancer research in general. Through my local ovarian cancer organization, SLOCA, there are numerous events throughout the month where businesses are giving back or we’re taking teal to new levels, like a night at the ballgame where you’ll see the majority of us in some form of teal with a St. Louis Cardinals’ ballcap on as well.
Or, at the end of the month, you’ll find me riding with my Gyn Onc department team as a co-captain for Pedal the Cause to raise funds for cancer research. Want to know something shocking...our team, the GynOnc department team for a major cancer research hospital is the TOP fundraising hospital team. If you ask me why I’d say because amazing things can happen when oncologists/researchers/patients and their loved ones join forces to fight for something they’re all passionate about. PLUS, the event takes place annually during our month and it’s our time to shine out on the courses with our teal jerseys!
Find your why and make a difference
Whatever your reason may be to highlight ovarian cancer awareness month – do it with two feet in because it matters. Do it with two feet in because the majority of those who’ve been dealt the card of ovarian cancer in their life deserve better than what they’re currently getting. Do it because you didn’t know and you should have known the signs/symptoms of ovarian cancer, but somewhere along the lines the information was never given to you.
Find your why and make a teal splash during the month of September!
What stage were you diagnosed with?