Working together to raise awareness

During Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, the ovarian cancer charities come together to reach as many people as possible with the symptoms of ovarian cancer. We’re fortunate to have many supporters who work tirelessly with all of us to reach our goals. Here are just three of their stories.

Amanda

“My name is Amanda and I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013, aged 42. I wasn’t even aware of the many symptoms of ovarian cancer until I was diagnosed, but in hindsight I had some of the classic symptoms such as needing to urinate more often to having a bloated abdomen.

I was fortunate to be diagnosed at an early stage, but still had to undergo gruelling surgery and follow-up treatment which included chemotherapy.

However, I didn’t want to pick just one ovarian cancer charity to support for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month – I wanted to spread my support and enthusiasm for raising awareness across all the UK charities.

Since my diagnosis I’ve been very vocal on Twitter in raising awareness, and thought it was important to get vital messages about signs and symptoms out there through social media, with the aim of getting the topic of ovarian cancer trending.

That’s why I’ve created a Thunderclap for the last three years – it’s a good way of pushing out the important messages around signs and symptoms to as many women as possible. After a social reach of 1.5 million last year I’m hoping to eclipse that target this year with the use of #ovariancancersavvy and to tell as many other women that ovarian cancer could affect them too, and to be aware of what to look out for.”

Sign up to Amanda’s Thunderclap on Facebook or Twitter to help raise awareness with even more people.

Alan

Alan“My name is Alan and I was married to Yvonne for 42 years. Yvonne was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011; she fought long and hard but passed away at Christmas 2014.

I raise awareness of this terrible disease because it’s so hard to diagnose but from what I know now the symptoms are all too evident. It is important that women come to recognise the symptoms so that they can get quick treatment. I am acting on my own experience by spreading the word and hopefully it’ll save many more women from suffering. I spend many weekends giving out information in my local area and further afield and I organise and attend events.

My future plans are to carry on fundraising, giving out flyers, cards and attending seminars or day time events to raise awareness of the symptoms and the disease.”

Adele

Adele“My name is Adele. I was diagnosed with Stage III C ovarian cancer in September 2007. I had a recurrence in 2010 and was advised that the cancer was now incurable but treatable. I think I’m as surprised as my oncologist and surgeon are that I’m still around. I remain ever grateful and take nothing for granted. I am acutely aware that the cancer can come back at any time.

I think it is extremely important to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer because most women and their GPs do not recognise them until it is too late. This is why the vast majority or women, like myself, are diagnosed at a late stage with the associated poor prognosis. In the UK over 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year and over 4,000 die each year.

In my own case, I had all the classic symptoms over a period of 18 months. Despite going to the GP with each new symptom over that time, it wasn’t until I started to look pregnant that the doctor suggested that I might have an ovarian cyst and sent me for a scan, which led to me receiving this life changing diagnosis.

During Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month I will be holding the Touch of Teal Tea to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and to raise funds for Ovacome. I am also taking part in a film for Ovarian Cancer Action. Last year I help the Touch of Teal Gala to raise money for all of the ovarian cancer charities. I enjoy working with all ovarian cancer charities to raise awareness of ovarian cancer in whatever way they see fit.”