The loss of a loved one is never an easy event to bear, but in 2004, one Marietta resident used her loss as motivation to empower people to make a change. Bethany Diamond, a fitness instructor and founder of the non-profit organization Ovarian Cycle, experienced the loss of her dear friend Debbie Green Flamm to ovarian cancer - a cancer that presently has no known test for accurate diagnosis. “I had little exposure to the disease prior and no understanding of it. But I learned,” Diamond says. “Debbie, a very health-conscious woman, had complaints that went unlinked from doctor to doctor and were considered unimportant. As a result, they were under-diagnosed. If her ovarian cancer had been diagnosed early, she might still be here with us today.”
Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly of women’s cancers with roughly 21,000 women in the U.S. diagnosed each year. Early detection of the disease increases the five-year survival rate more than 93 percent. Ovarian Cycle seeks to fund research for the development of a test for accurate diagnosis, as well as raise awareness of the disease. Its signature fundraising event, Ride to Change the Future, consists of six weeks of training at health clubs or gyms. The event culminates in a six-hour virtual ride with more than 200 participants riding and completing the final 100 virtual mile event.
“This ride allows families, friends and even women undergoing treatment to participate in something that raises awareness and impacts their lives, and those of all women. It is a positive step, a community of people with a common goal,” says Diamond.
As Ride to Change the Future enters its ninth ride on April 21, 2012, Ovarian Cycle has grown into an event in five states, as well as raised more than $850,000 to support ovarian cancer research.
“People are brought to this because they have been touched by ovarian cancer, or they just want to do something motivational to push them to a new level of fitness. It is all indoors, so anyone can do it,” Diamond explains. “Together we will make a difference.”
For more information visit www.ovariancycle.org
Know The Signs:
Although the symptoms linked to ovarian cancer might not seem serious at first, they can worsen if left untreated. Recent studies have shown that the following symptoms are much more likely to occur in women with ovarian cancer than women in the general population. These symptoms include:
• Pelvic or abdominal pain
• Urinary urgency or frequency
• Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
If you or someone you know are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, make sure to see your doctor for further diagnosis.
Courtesy of www.ovariancancerawareness.org and www.ovariancancer.org