Why You Should Care About Ovarian Cancer
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Right, another cancer awareness month you’re thinking. Why should you care? Well, to state the obvious, only women get it — specifically, 1 in 75 of us. More importantly, most women aren’t diagnosed until it’s in the late stages because the symptoms can be difficult to recognize, resulting in a five-year survival rate of less than 50%. Early diagnosis is critical. That’s why we need to pay attention to our bodies and know the signs.
There is hope. Hope in the form of the brilliant researchers working to develop an early detection test, and in the tireless work of Colleen’s Dream Foundation to raise much-needed money to help fund this research, as well as raise awareness of the disease. If you’ve been following us for awhile, you’ve seen our posts before about this amazing organization led by some of the most passionate volunteers we’ve ever seen. We thought it would be a good time for an update, so we caught up with our own Mom Muse and friend Nicole Cundiff, CEO of Colleen’s Dream and daughter of Colleen Drury, the inspiration behind the organization.
MSL: Nicole, can you give us an update on the progress Colleen’s Dream has made over the last year?
In the last couple of months, we have given away over $100,000 in research grants. We are actively identifying and trying to fund the most innovative and exciting early detection research projects for ovarian cancer.
MSL: Do you have any idea on how far away we are from an early detection test for ovarian cancer? Any particularly hopeful findings?
An early detection screening tool is truly the holy grail in the research world right now. There are many different projects going on, but I would say we are still pretty far away from a test actually being FDA-approved.
MSL: You have your annual Cocktails & Couture event coming up next week on September 24. How much money are you hoping to raise?
We are hoping to raise around $50,000 at Cocktails & Couture. This event helps us to spread the word about Colleen’s Dream, as well as educate people on the signs and symptoms of this deadly disease.
Editor’s Note: There are only a few tickets left, so don’t delay!! Register now.
MSL: The Colleen’s Dream annual golf tournament and “Evening of Dreams” gala have been gaining more and more traction each year. Have you set a date for the big weekend?
Yes! The dates are February 24th and 25th. The golf tournament will be at the Biltmore Adobe course and the Evening of Dreams gala will be at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn.
MSL: What are your hopes and goals for Colleen’s Dream over the next year?
We hope to continue to make progress in educating the public about ovarian cancer, while also funding critical research. It is crucial to us that women know the signs and symptoms plus their family history. Bloating, pelvic/back pain, frequency in urination, changes in bowel habits and feeling full quickly. We also encourage women who have a family history of ovarian and/or breast cancer to get genetic testing and counseling.
Nicole and her sisters Michelle and Billie recently attended the star-studded Stand Up to Cancer event in honor of their mom.
For more information on the Colleen’s Dream Foundation or to donate to this worthy cause, visit the organization’s website!