In the search for a charity team with which to participate in the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon, the T.E.A.L.® foundation’s mission stood glaringly out amongst others. Promoting public awareness and education of ovarian cancer symptoms, while funding screening research and survivor support, was congruent with my own goals as a gynecologic oncologist in training. Without widespread knowledge of early symptoms or acceptable screening measures, providers will continue to too frequently diagnose women with ovarian cancer at advanced stages.

I applied to participate with Team Tell Every Amazing Lady® and, fortunately, was selected! I’ve run the NYC Marathon previously with a charity team that supports general cancer research, but it’s so inspiring to be able to raise funds and run for a cause so intertwined with my personal mission of treating ovarian cancer.

My love for distance running began on the cross-country team in high school when I learned to appreciate the self-discipline and internal self-awareness developed through running. Participating with a team such as T.E.A.L.® provides the added benefit of devoting miles put in — both during training and on race-day — to a worthy cause.

My ultimate goal in running the TCS New York City Marathon with Team Tell Every Amazing Lady® is to raise funds to help promote T.E.A.L.®’s public awareness reach and research support. Additionally, I hope to spread the T.E.A.L.® message while fundraising and beating my time of 3:57 set during last year’s NYC Marathon.

If I had the power to make a difference related to ovarian cancer, I would, of course, like for no woman to ever develop the disease again. However, a more realistic goal — and one that can happen in the foreseeable near future — is an accurate screening tool for early-stage detection. Ovarian cancer is frequently treatable, and possibly cured, when caught at its earliest stages, but we unfortunately do not yet have a reliable and satisfactory means for early detection. I’d love to see that change so that we can treat it earlier and more effectively.

To every woman: you are amazing, and no one should ever have to receive a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Please, take a moment today to learn about early symptoms and steps that can be taken to reduce cancer risks, and then, GO TALK ABOUT IT! One of our most powerful tools is communication, so spark a conversation by asking what friends and family members know about ovarian cancer, and fill them in on what you’ve learned. Also, visit the Tell Every Amazing Lady® Louisa M. McGregor Ovarian Cancer Foundation website, and get behind the movement to advance the way we perceive, detect, and, ultimately, treat ovarian cancer.