When I was in elementary school I loved to run. Each year I would look forward to running this 10k that was hosted by the Salt Lake City Fire Department. This run had a special meaning to me, simply because my uncle was captain in the fire department. Now I am in college, a little older, not much smarter, and I love to climb. Unlike the excessive amount of running or cycling events, climbing events are few and far between.
For the past few years I have been participating in Climb4Life, an ovarian cancer research and awareness event put on by the HERA foundation (Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness). Ovaries are not part of my genetic makeup, but my girlfriend, two sisters, and my mother are very much susceptible to ovarian cancer. This climbing event has a special meaning to me because of the women in my life and because it is one of the few fundraising events that raises money through a weekend filled with climbing, hiking, pro athletes, parties, dancing, live music, yoga, massages, big raffles, free swag and fun all in support of finding a cure for ovarian cancer.
Small events in our lives can connect us to a cause; all it takes is understanding the sense of urgency. According to HERA’s fact sheet, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women and kills more women than all the other reproductive cancers combined. Information provided such as above is to help spread the awareness of how understated and serious ovarian cancer is.
One in 57 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in her lifetime. It affects mothers, daughters, sisters and friends. With early detection 90 percent will survive. Currently, only 24 percent of ovarian cancer is caught early.
Often we have a personal connection to a cause or an effect that pushes us to do something outside of our normal parameters. Obviously it does not take much for me to get involved. I ran a 10k in elementary because my uncle drove a fire truck. For some, it is very personal. For me, I would rather not make it personal by informing my mother, sisters, and girlfriend of a disease, which has preventable signs, as well as a good survival rate if caught early, than to wait for an unfortunate connection before getting involved.
Ovarian cancer is a serious and under-recognized threat to women’s health. It is not an uncommon disease. Ovarian cancer is not a hereditary disease; so all women are at risk. There are no reliable screening tools although doctors have agreed there are symptoms. When ovarian cancer is suspected, less than half the women get the right type of physician, a gynecological oncologist. Raising awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and where to go for treatment enables women to raise their chances for survival.
Estimates for ovarian cancer in the United States for 2009 was that 21,550 new cases of ovarian cancer would be diagnosed and about 14,600 deaths would occur.
To learn more about Ovarian Cancer or the HERA foundation go to their website at herafoundation.org.
My intention is not to get gloomy – so girls (women) paint your nails teal and help increase the awareness. Boys (men) you don’t need to paint your nails, however, may I suggest moral support to the females in your life. Remember to tell everyone why you painted your nails teal, as September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
If you would like to become a bigger part of ovarian cancer awareness join Climb4Life. This is your chance to learn how to rock climb or just to be part of a great cause that save lives. The 9th Annual Utah Climb4Life is a wonderful event and opportunity held in Salt Lake City only once every year. The event is presented by HERA and hosted by Black Diamond.
The terminology of “climbing community” is used often with climbers and that community grows with good people each year. Join Climb4Life from Sept. 16-19 and become part of this community. Climb4Life is not like a race or a competition, there are people to help you if you’ve never climbed before and equipment to borrow. Those who know how to climb can enjoy a couple days climbing, making new friends from around the country, and helping raise awareness of ovarian cancer. To link to their website for more details, Google Climb4Life Salt Lake City.