EVENT: Below the Belt 5k
There's significant scientific evidence that strong support networks can improve outcomes for cancer patients. Rebecca Ritzel was fortunate to have family and friends who mobilized to be on "Team Ritzel" long before her family registered for this race to benefit Johns Hopkins Gynecological Oncology. After testing positive for possible ovarian cancer in Feb. 2015, she discovered that finding a gynecological oncologist was a bit like online dating. At one point, she had appointments lined up with four different doctors. The first guy was a jerk, but then Edward Tanner III called her himself in advance of her Hopkins appointment, and she cancelled on the remaining two doctors. After her first surgery, test results revealed the worst: she had mixed-clear cell carcinoma arising from undiagnosed endometrios. Thankfully, Rebecca was in good hands at Hopkins, and she had family in Baltimore and friends in Washington who were ready to help. Friends and relatives sent care packages while she recovered from two surgeries. Aunts came to babysit while she recovered from chemotherapy. A year after her surgery, the Ritzel family is excited to support the Gynecological Oncology team at Hopkins by walking, running and riding-strollers on May 15.