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Raising awareness: a community’s mission

Editorial

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States.

Approximately 22,000 women are diagnosed annually and approximately 15,000 women will die annually of this disease, according the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. Unfortunately, due to ovarian cancer’s non-specific symptoms, only 19 percent of all cases are found at an early stage.

For Kevin O’Hara’s family, these statistics are all too real. One of Kevin’s six sisters, Maureen, was diagnosed at stage three of the illness four years ago.

“This disease usually goes untreated until women are in stage three or four, so we are trying to make women more aware of the symptoms,” Kevin told the Observer last year.

The O’Hara family saw firsthand why raising awareness of ovarian cancer is so important, and decided to do something about it.

They started the Teal There’s A Cure run/walk for ovarian cancer awareness and education, which to date has raised more than $110,000 for ovarian cancer research, the American Cancer Society and GRACE’S, a local ovarian cancer support group.

That total is thanks to record participation in this year’s event on July 4th, which raised more than $40,000 through 680 runners and walkers.

In Marcellus and the surrounding area, ovarian cancer awareness has skyrocketed due to the efforts of the O’Hara family as well as the community that has united around their cause. In this, we can all take pride.

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