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Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death among gynecologic cancers. In over 75% of cases, it is not detected until it has already progressed to an advanced stage. This year alone, about 22,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and over 15,000 women will die. Research is needed, especially in the realm of early detection and treatment of recurrent disease.
In December 2008, LeiLani Allen (MaloRee, BranDee and MeGan's mom) was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. In November 2009, she passed away. She didn't even make it one year after being diagnosed. She had no idea that she had cancer. Ovarian cancer gives such vague signs and symptoms, which can easily be mistaken as the stomach flu. She couldn't keep food down, wasn't hungry, was sleepy, and had heartburn. That was her symptoms and something everyone experiences. If their mom had received a simple blood test early on when she had her yearly woman's exam, she would have known before it progressed to such a late stage. That's all it takes....a blood test. Yet, its not a routine test. Ovarian cancer cannot be detected through a yearly exam, which is why these blood tests are so important. Ovarian Cancer whispers....so you need to listen.
She endured seven rounds of chemo, lost her hair, vomitted, had and kidney failure, stroke, pulmonary embolisms, blood clots, and an indescribable amount of pain. Even though, it was heartbreaking to watch the girls suffer through this horrible loss. I know they miss her dearly, but they are all happy that she's not in pain anymore (something she feared more than the cancer itself).
So, why does this event mean anything to me? Because the Allen sisters hold a special place in my heart and for the last two years, I have not been able to participate in this race. Only one sister will be there, but the other two can't. So, I'm running and raising money on their behalf. If I am able to do something to help prevent this cancer or find a better screening method, than I'll do it.
Thank you for your support and please forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too! Every donation, no matter how big or small, is greatly appreciated and makes a difference.