About a dozen representatives from Hope for Heather and local dignitaries gathered to paint a teal stripe down Main Street in Minoa to bring ovarian cancer awareness to the area. Pictured on the right painting a teal strip is Ed Gosek, husband of Mary Gosek who race this year was dedicated to. (Hayleigh Gowans)
By Hayleigh Gowans
The Hope for Heather Teal Ribbon Run/Walk recently celebrated its ninth annual event — and fourth year holding the race in the village of Minoa — bringing about 1,000 people to fund raise and spotlight awareness of ovarian cancer. Along with that event, the village of Minoa decided to paint a teal stripe down North Main Street to remind residents of the cause.
On Friday, Sept. 22, about a dozen representatives from Hope for Heather and local dignitaries gathered to paint a teal stripe down North Main Street in Minoa to remind residents and those participating in the Teal Ribbon Run/Walk on Sept. 23 of the cause to eradicated ovarian cancer.
“We’re very pleased to be able to work with Hope for Heather and have the Teal Ribbon Run in our village,” said Minoa Mayor Bill Brazill. “This year, we wanted to start what will hopefully be a new tradition in the village by painting a teal stripe down the road to remind residents of the cause.”
Hope for Heather is a Liverpool-based organization dedicated to helping women with ovarian cancer and raising awareness about the disease. It was started by Frieda Weeks to honor the memory of her daughter, Heather, who lost her battle with an aggressive form of colon cancer at age 24. Before her passing, Heather worked for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, making it her mission to eradicate the disease.
“Ovarian cancer is such a deadly form of cancer … It’s unbelievable how many people are willing to support us and our cause to bring awareness and research for the disease,” said Weeks, who was in attendance at the paint striping event with her husband Gary.
This year’s race is dedicated to Mary Gosek, a resident of Oswego who lost her battle to ovarian cancer this past June at age 55. Gosek was an advocate for ovarian cancer awareness serving as the president of the Oswego chapter of Hope for Heather, and running own support organization called Peaceful Remedies. Her husband, Ed Gosek, was in attendance at the teal stripe painting and is a member of the “Men of Teal” group that is dedicated to spreading the word about ovarian cancer.
“She [Mary] made an impact on so many people’s lives,” said Ed. “It’s not easy to experience a loss of a loved one to this disease, but to keep the memory of Mary alive feels great … Hopefully some day we will find a cure for this disease.”
“The passing of Mary really was a huge loss to our community and the Oswego area,” said Weeks. “By honoring her we are able to show the great impact she had on the disease.”
Weeks said one of the most important parts of bringing ovarian cancer awareness to the public is teaching about the symptoms of ovarian cancer because if the disease if caught early, survival rates are much higher. Symptoms include bloating, pelvic pain, difficulty eating, changes in diet and changes in urinary frequency.
To learn more about Hope for Heather, go to hopeforheather.org.
I am a reporter for the Eagle Bulletin and Cazenovia Republican at Eagle News. I report on topics ranging from town and village government, business, news and features. I am a 2014 graduate of the Roy H. Park School of Communications and have a degree in Journalism and a minor in Psychology.