As we mark ovarian cancer awareness month in September, I thought it would be helpful to invite Karen Orloff Kaplan, Chief Executive Officer of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance to share a few words with you. Her organization recently announced the launch of a new, online quarterly publication, The Teal Journal. I hope you will take a look and let us know what you think.
This September marks the introduction of The Teal Journal, an online quarterly publication produced by the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.
The publication features interviews with thought leaders and experts in ovarian cancer research and treatment, as well as interpretive essays about scientific discussions appearing in national cancer magazines and white papers. The Teal Journal intends to be an educated conduit of information to the greater cancer community and provide insight, perspective and interpretation of late-breaking medical and scientific news about ovarian cancer.
The inaugural issue includes:
The need for timely information that functions as a bridge between the scientific community and the lay community is great. The Teal Journal has been designed to fill this gap. All content is peer-reviewed by the Scientific Medical Advisory Council before publication and explores topics of great concern to the cancer community.
I encourage you to visit www.tealjournal.org to read the first issue. Feel free to share with your family and friends who may benefit from and find this information useful.
Karen Orloff Kaplan
Chief Executive Officer, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
Early in the morning of August 7, we received an e-mail from Mark Corkery, who was desperately looking for his wife’s wedding ring. He thought it might have been left at the hospital in the evening, after she passed away. The gold band was plain, with an inscription, “To Beth. Love Always, Mark.”
Whenever Beth was admitted to the hospital, he would wear the ring on his pinky. After she died, Mark didn’t remember what happened — other than it was missing the next morning.
Beth Corkery had been listed among our “success stories” living with stage IV breast cancer for several years, thanks to the expertise of her oncologist, Dr. Lori Goldstein, and access to a clinical trial that had closed. Dr. Roger Cohen helped her gain permission to remain on the study medication, which was working for her.
When Beth was 35 and her children were age four and six, she picked up an issue of Glamour magazine and read an article about breast self-examination. Since she had no family history of breast cancer, she had not yet had a mammogram and wasn’t even sure how to conduct a self-exam. But she did examine herself for the first time and detected a lump. Although her husband did not feel the lump himself, he encouraged her to seek medical care. He went so far as to leave notes taped to the bathroom mirror, refrigerator, back door and on her steering wheel that read “Make a Dr. appointment.”
Beth was diagnosed with breast cancer and began treatment at her local hospital. Several years later, the cancer recurred. This time her mother insisted she come to Fox Chase for treatment. To appease her mom, Beth made an appointment with Lori Goldstein. Although her cancer eventually would spread throughout her body, Dr. Goldstein was able to extend her years on earth and with a good quality of life.
We had the pleasure of working with Beth when she originally shared her story on the Fox Chase web site. Because she was so well-spoken and had a positive outlook, we invited Beth to participate in several media relations activities, including a 6-ABC Breast Cancer special in October 2009, an appearance in the Love Versus Cancer video, and inclusion in an editor’s letter in Glamour magazine in October 2009. Last June, when President Obama held a Town Hall meeting on the state of health care, ABC News reached out to us looking for a terminal patient who might like to attend. Beth and her husband, Mark, were delighted to participate. In the days that followed, her local newspapers wrote articles about her momentous trip.
On Friday, August 6, at the age of 43, Beth, whose son was now 14 and daughter 12, passed away at Fox Chase. Her husband sent the note below, which I am sharing here because I firmly believe that “success” in managing cancer is measured in many different ways. Although Beth eventually lost her fight with cancer, she enjoyed several good years with her family that she might not have otherwise had, thanks to the support of a loving family and the care she received here. Mark is grateful to the physicians and staff of Fox Chase, and has already talked about planning an event to raise money for breast cancer research in Beth’s memory. Here are his words:
My wife Elizabeth’s cancer returned in 2005. We switched to Fox Chase Cancer Center, and soon realized we should have been there from the start. Dr. Lori Goldstein has seen Beth through many highs and lows, even going so far as to call in from Italy while on vacation to monitor Beth’s status. While Beth struggled with her disease, Lori gave her the precious gift of QUALITY time with my children & me. Fear is part of facing cancer, for the caregiver as well as patient. If cancer were a human enemy, Lori would be a warrior cancer feared. We had confidence every time we entered her office.
Eventually, Beth’s body wearied of the fight, and her lungs began to fail. Enter Dr. Earl King (Director of Fox Chase’s Respiratory Care unit). Beth saw Dr. King after her cancer had made a major offensive, yet he gave her the breath to say a final “I love you” to our children before she passed away. His compassion for our family has made him PART of our family in my book.
Beth’s passing wasn’t a failure, but a triumph. My wife, and both of these doctors, has shown my children the true meaning of heroic.
We miss Beth and are grateful to have known her and enjoyed her generous spirit while she was at Fox Chase. We are also happy and relieved to report that Mark recovered Beth’s wedding ring.
Now that fall is almost here, I wanted to take this opportunity to invite you to get out, enjoy the outdoors and support some worthy causes.
Saturday, September 11 – Ovarian Cancer Walk
This Saturday, September 11, 2010, the Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition presents the 12th Annual Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer. This 1.5 mile walk begins at Memorial Hall (Please Touch Museum) in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA. Registration begins at 7:15 am. Stop by the survivor tent, browse through the health fair tent, enjoy the kid’s tent, take a survivor and team photo, and fill up on food and beverages.
The mission of the NOCC is to raise awareness and promote education about ovarian cancer. The Coalition is committed to improving the survival rate and quality of life for women with ovarian cancer. The Delaware Valley Chapter was established in 2009 to advance the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s mission in the Greater Delaware Valley area.
Saturday, September 11 – BreastFest Philly
Enjoy a great day filled with food and drink, live music, games, silent auction, and more as The Tyanna Foundation hosts the first-ever BreastFest Philadelphia on Saturday, September 11 from 1-6 p.m. at City Tap House (3925 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104). Improving the lives of breast cancer patients is at the heart of The Tyanna Foundation, which honors a mother’s life, love, and living legacy. Tyanna Barre O’Brien died from breast cancer in 1990 at the age of 48. Her legacy continues today, embodied by her five daughters. Since its inception in 1998, the foundation has worked tirelessly to increase awareness and generate money for breast cancer research, services, education, treatment, and patient care. By hosting a variety of events and fundraising efforts throughout the nation, the Tyanna Foundation has raised over one-half million dollars. Proceeds from BreastFest Philadelphia will benefit Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Tickets to BreastFest Philly are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Price includes food, beer, specialty drinks, bands, and lots of fun! Enjoy music by Loverbuggy, Sara O’Brien and LuLoo’s All Stars, Queen Green, and Don McCloskey.
Sunday, October 24, 2010 – Paws for the Cause
This year’s dog-walk will be tied-in with Fox Chase’s “Love Versus Cancer” initiative, which aims to honor and promote the strength and hope that love brings to the challenge of confronting cancer. The initiative is anchored by a YouTube video that features Fox Chase’s pet-therapy dog Mary Margaret and her four-legged friends. See what it’s all about by visiting www.loveversuscancer.org.
To register online, get more information and create a personalized fundraising page, visit the Paws for the Cause web site!
Spread the word
Fox Chase Cancer Center is gearing up for a busy season, full of wonderful events designed to raise awareness, as well as funds, for cancer research. For more information on Fox Chase sponsored events, please visit www.foxchase.org/events. If you are participating in other events that help promote cancer awareness and want to spread the word, you are welcome to post them below.
The Women’s Cancer Center prides itself on providing a wealth of resources for patients and families under one roof, from educational materials to support services. We also look for outside resources from across the country to connect you with timely information. As you can see on the right-hand navigation bar of the blog, we’ve compiled links to some of the most prominent cancer organizations in the nation, including the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC). NOCC began in 1995 to raise awareness and find ways to improve the survival rate and quality of life – a mission that we at Fox Chase share wholeheartedly.
In honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, NOCC kicked off “September Speaks 2010” this week, a wonderful initiative highlighting the many faces of those affected in some way by ovarian cancer. Each day throughout the month of September, a new video will appear on ovarian.org with a short, one to two minute segment featuring a celebrity, athlete, doctor, ovarian cancer survivor, or NOCC supporter. The campaign encourages us to “Speak Up, Speak Out, and Break the Silence” surrounding ovarian cancer by opening the channels of discussion and dispelling common misconceptions.
We are honored that two of our very own staff have been asked to share their expertise as a part of September Speaks this year. Jeff Boyd, PhD, Executive Director of the Institute for Personalized Medicine and Carol Cherry, MSN, RN, AOCNS, a nurse in the Risk Assessment Program, will draw on their many years of experiences in the medical profession. They join national celebrities including:
The diverse perspectives that these individuals contribute will be a valuable resource for anyone struggling with ovarian cancer. These videos remind us that, whether you are a celebrity or a local volunteer, your personal experience is equally as important and helpful to the greater cancer community. I encourage you to visit ovarian.org during the course of the month of September to watch the featured videos, including those by Dr. Boyd and Carol Cherry. We also encourage you to continue to share your own stories here on the blog and through Love Versus Cancer. Your perspective is powerful to other women experiencing ovarian cancer and their families, so Speak Up, Speak Out, and Break the Silence.