OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS
On June 2, 2007, the sisters of Sigma Alpha Omega® voted to adopt Ovarian Cancer Awareness as our national philanthropy after the initiative was researched by then Vice President of the National Board of Trustees, Erin Watts Evans. The sorority has worked alongside organizations to promote education and awareness efforts such as Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Initiative, Teal Diva, and many local to our chapters.
ERIN WATTS-EVANS REFLECTS ON OCA'S IMPACT:
"Knowing the impact that we could have on women all over the country, I never imagined that from that meeting we would go on to be where we are now. [...] Truly, back then we were so young, I think we had only hoped that we were doing the right thing, hoped that we were listening to the Lord and following the path that we needed to be on. Throughout the year seeing all the OCA events and speakers at chapters and convention, it blows my mind and warms my heart. Just sitting in reverence of all these active sisters, and now active alumnae, all in their teal; we are changing a generation, I just know it." (June 2015, email to Executive Director)
SEPTEMBER: OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance has dedicated the whole month of September to ovarian cancer awareness. We encourage all chapters to take advantage of this opportunity to tell others about ovarian cancer through both traditional and creative means. In the past sisters have challenged each other to pass out teal ribbons on campus, held fundraising galas and silent auctions, written ovarian cancer symptoms and statistics across campuses with sidewalk chalk, completed service projects for survivors, and fundraised for research funds. You can learn more about Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month at www.ovariancancer.org.
In the summer of 2016, Ariane Sanders, Hannah Caplinger, and Mary Kathryn Hurst attended the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (formerly Ovarian Cancer National Alliance) Convention in Washington, D.C. One of the guest speakers, a thriving survivor of this "silent killer", expressed her difficulties in healing from extensive abdominal surgeries to rid her body of cancer. She felt her greatest physical challenge in recovering for surgery was regaining her abdominal muscles. The three representatives brainstormed ways that sisters could honor this particular challenge and the Crunch-A-Thon was born to bring awareness to this part of an ovarian cancer fight.
In the past, sisters have raised thousands of dollars and engaged with hundreds of community members as they flexed their abs in honor of those who cannot. More information of this year's Crunch-A-Thon is coming soon!
Each year in the United States an estimated 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer
Each year about 14,000 U.S. women die of ovarian cancer
Worldwide, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and 140,000 women die from the disease.
Approximately 1 in 79 American women will develop ovarian cancer in her lifetime
When ovarian cancer is detected in the early stages, there is an 85 to 90% chance for a cure
Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among American women
Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than all other gynecological cancers combined
Pelvic or abdominal pain or pressure
Urinary urgency or frequency
Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
Source: Statistics, facts, and symptoms provided by NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Initiative