We Did It!
November 06, 2017
BENEFITING: National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Inc.
ORGANIZER: National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Inc.
Running a marathon is something that has always been on my bucket list, but for many reasons was something that easily got pushed aside. When I learned about the opportunity to run with Team Teal and to raise awareness for ovarian cancer with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, I knew there were no more excuses. This was an opportunity to run 26.2 miles with more motivation than ever – in memory of my mom, Jane Kelly, and my aunt, Anne Darkazalli. On November 5th, I’ll be running the NYC Marathon to raise awareness and funds for a disease that took two wonderful women from us and for the many women and families who are impacted by ovarian cancer every year.
As a mother to two young children, I think about my own mom multiple times a day. I wish she was here to offer advice and most of the times, just a simple hug as I navigate my own journey in motherhood. When my children do something new or that makes me laugh, I think about how much my mom would have loved to play with Colleen and Benjamin herself. I also think about what an amazing and strong woman she was when she learned that she had ovarian cancer and fought a five-year battle with the disease while raising her own young daughters. Ovarian cancer robbed us of so many precious moments together as a family.
Having gone out for a run one day, my mom came back feeling like something wasn’t quite right. After tests and heading to the emergency room for the pain, we learned my mom had ovarian cancer almost exactly one year after learning that her sister, my Auntie Anne, also had ovarian cancer. Both of these women battled ovarian cancer for just over five years, fighting to stay with their husbands, children, brothers, sisters, parents and friends. My mom and Auntie Anne were smart, beautiful and strong women; gentle mothers, loving wives and kind friends who were always smiling. We eventually learned that both my mom and Auntie Anne carried the BRCA-1 gene mutation, significantly increasing their risk of developing ovarian cancer.
I am thankful for developments in genetic testing and research in screening for inherited mutations aimed to identify women at high risk for ovarian cancer. But, more needs to be done. There are not tests to effectively detect ovarian cancer in its early stages. I want to help make awareness and early stage detection the norm for all women. I want to help us see a cure in our lifetime.
Just five days before my mom passed away, she was determined to cross the finish line in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event in our local community raising money for cancer research. I cannot imagine the pain she experienced, but when I look back at pictures from that event, I can see the pure determination and courage my mom possessed. With your support, I hope to summon just some of that determination and cross my own finish line on Nov. 5th in the NYC Marathon in honor of my mom and Auntie Anne. Please consider donating to help the NOCC raise awareness, enhance prevention, improve the quality of life for survivors and ultimately to help find a cure!
NATIONAL OVARIAN CANCER COALITION wrote -
The mission of the the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) is to save lives by fighting tirelessly to prevent and cure ovarian cancer, and to improve the quality of life for survivors. For 25 years, the NOCC has been committed to raising awareness, promoting education and funding research in support of women, families and communities touched by ovarian cancer.
More than 20,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and approximately 14,000 women die annually from the disease. Unfortunately, most cases are diagnosed in their later stages when the prognosis is poor. However, if diagnosed and treated early, the five-year survival rate is over 90%. Through national programs and local Chapter initiatives, the NOCC's goal is to make more people aware of the early symptoms of ovarian cancer so that we can make progress in improving ovarian cancer mortality rates.
In addition, the NOCC provides information to assist the newly diagnosed patient, to provide hope to survivors, and to support caregivers. The NOCC also supports and funds critical, cutting-edge ovarian cancer research.
The New York City NOCC Chapter, founded in 2014, is part of a strong network of Tri-State Chapters, which are all working hard to advance the NOCC's mission in our local communities. Our NYC Team Teal will run 26.2 miles on November 5, 2017, and we hope you will consider supporting our runners. All proceeds raised through the TCS New York City Marathon will help us continue to expand the NOCC's programs and provide vital research funding.