Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Special Day for the Teal Wings of Hope Foundation

Teal Wings of Hope Foundation is a foundation in NJ with the mission to "educate and promote awareness of Ovarian Cancer and provide support for all people touched by the disease." It was founded in August 2009 by Karen Neuls and Jim Baldinger. Karen lost her sister, Kathy, and Jim lost his wife, Michele, to ovarian cancer.

This morning, I was honored to tell my story of survivorship at the first annual Teal Wings of Hope Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Feat for Hope 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk . The day was beautiful- no sign of hurricane Earl- and the location in Veterans Park in Hamilton, NJ was wonderful. Both young and old and their dogs enjoyed spending time running or walking and remembering their loved ones and honoring survivors. Each walker got a goodie bag and a t-shirt and survivors were asked to put there handprint on a large canvas. Even NJ 101.5 Radio station was there with give-aways.

It was a pleasure to meet Karen and Jim as well as Larry Hill who spoke about being a caregiver. I really loved speaking with the Janet , Karen and Kathy's mother. She told me all the great things the foundation is doing to help women diagnosed with the disease. From providing transportation to doctor and treatment appointments to paying electric bills , the foundation is there to support ovarian cancer survivors every step of the way.

After my talk I was approached by a lady who thanked me for mentioning that all women could get ovarian cancer- Young and old alike. Then she told me how her granddaughter was diagnosed at the age of 4. I had heard of teenagers with ovarian cancer but not someone that young. It turns out that the little girl had abdominal pain just like I did. Her parents took her to the ER. And thank goodness they insisted that it was not constipation and that tests be done. Sure enough the tests showed a tumor on her ovary. I gave that girl a hug today. Made my day.

Based on the success of this year's run/walk I'm sure that next year's will be even bigger!

Every Day is a Blessing! I was blessed today to meet more survivors- young and not so young.

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