Take Me Out To The Old Ballpark

April 29, 2010

April is one of those months that, at least for most Americans, arrives with some dread or excitement depending upon who you are. For those owing the IRS – not a good month; for those receiving a refund from the IRS – a great month. Regardless of which tax filing camp you are in, the owe or the refund camp, complaining about taxes and the IRS is one of those timeless American traditions, just like mom and apple pie, fireworks on the 4th of July, and opening day of baseball. Although I willingly pay my taxes (it is a civic duty after all) I don’t relish the experience in the same way that I do opening day. I believe that the opening day of baseball is one of the best American traditions and, as many note, a springtime rite of passage, the promise of a new beginning, and a perennial reminder that anything is possible. What’s not to love about that?

It is with that “anything is possible” attitude that I am asking each of you to commit to making sure that you let at least ten women know the early signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer this spring (listed at the end).   I was reminded again this week just how important early detection can be when I learned of a friend’s sister who was just diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer. She has already had surgery and is undergoing additional treatment; she is upbeat and she is a fighter.

HERA Friends and Supporters Coast-to-Coast

HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation continues to be supported by a group of volunteers and donors in the Metro Washington D.C. area that are truly amazing. Just a few short weeks ago that wonderful community came together over an eight-day period for the 5th Annual HERA Climb4Life Metro DC. Over 200 people helped raise nearly $25,000, which goes a long way in funding awareness and education programs at HERA as well as helping fund ovarian cancer research to find an early detection method for this cancer.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the volunteer event coordinators, Rhonda Krafchin and Lillian Chao-Quinlan. Rhonda is the Outreach Specialist at the REI in Fairfax, Virginia, which is host to several of the Climb4Life events and where Rhonda’s magic makes things happen. Lillian is the president of Sportrock Climbing Centers, also host to Climb4Life events and excellent climbing. And our thanks to all the event volunteers, and our sponsors for helping provide a quality experience for event participants to enjoy while helping raise money to save women’s lives.

Colorado’s Stellar Volunteers Getting Ready

The 4th Annual Climb4Life Colorado, June 11-12th, is right around the corner and registration is now open. The steering committee, a great group of volunteers, many who have volunteered in previous years, is working with climb coordinator Cathy Badell to ensure a memorable experience for everyone who participates in the event. The Colorado event offers opportunities for climbing or hiking in the beautiful mountains outside of Boulder. It’s easy to register; follow this link to our website www.herafoundation.org and click on Colorado C4L.

The Climb4Life event series remains an important way for the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation to get information out about ovarian cancer to more and more people. The series also raises critically needed funds that are used for awareness and education initiatives including our community grants program which makes available $1,000 grants to smaller non-profit ovarian cancer support organizations.

HERA Welcomes New Board Members

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Lisa O’Connor and Aleece Koss, our newest members of the HERA Board of Directors. Lisa resides in the Washington D.C. area and Aleece lives in the Denver, CO area. Lisa is a consultant in the security field and Aleece is in strategic marketing. They both have connections to HERA; Aleece has a family connection to ovarian cancer and Lisa has participated in Climb4Life Metro DC for several years and both are strong HERA advocates.

Losing A Friend

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Joyce Emory Perry. Long time friend and supporter of HERA, Joyce was a star athlete and title winning coach at the University of Delaware, with a distinguished career in women’s athletics spanning over twenty-five years. Joyce learned she had ovarian cancer about three years ago and approached the situation like any other: head-on and with her winning attitude.

Joyce, even in death, continues her generous spirit. Just prior to Joyce’s passing she was notified about an award she would be receiving at a banquet at the end of April. With the award came a grant of $500 to be given to the organization of her choice. She chose the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation. At that banquet on April 29th, HERA board member and ovarian cancer survivor, and most importantly, Joyce’s friend, Samantha Lockwood, will accept the grant on behalf of HERA.

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is May 9th and approaching fast. This will be my first Mother’s Day without my mother who died in September. I should be planning the brunch hosted every Mother’s Day at my house, weather permitting, on our backyard deck surrounded by spring gardens and pots of pansies. My mother loved springtime when the rain would green everything up overnight, trees would burst into bloom, robins began nesting in her fruit trees, and of course baseball. My mother loved baseball; I come by my passion honestly, I think in part because of that promise of a new beginning, a clean slate, another chance to be a winner. No matter how mad she might have gotten at “her” team the previous season by opening day all was forgiven and forgotten. It is spring after all, a new season, and “anything is possible.”

Celebrate the season, opening day, and Mother’s Day by learning the symptoms of ovarian cancer (listed below) and sharing them with all the women in your life. Regardless of how April arrives, it exits into May, a glorious month. So “take yourself out to a ballgame” and enjoy!
Happy Spring-
Danni Lederman, Executive Director

Most Common Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:

  • Abdominal pressure, bloating, or discomfort
  • Nausea, indigestion, or gas
  • Urinary frequency, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Shortness of breath

Other symptoms can include indigestion, back pain, bowel problems, abnormal bleeding or unusual fatigue. Take action if they last more than 2-3 weeks and they are unusual for you. For more information go to our website, www.herafoundation.org

Please consider a donation to the HERA Foundation and support our work to stop the loss of women from ovarian cancer. It’s easy, click here, www.herafoundation.org, which will direct you to the HERA Foundation website allowing you to make a safe and secure online donation, or mail a check if you prefer.  Just click the “donate” button, then “make a gift now” and you are on your way to helping save women’s lives in just three simple steps. Also please review the symptoms of ovarian cancer on the HERA site and share with friends. If you have any questions please write to info@herafoundation.org or call (970) 948-7360. Thank you!

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