Ride the Teal Wave

We had a wonderful event Sept. 3, 2022, and can’t wait to do it again next year. In the meantime, you can still help us meet our fundraising goals.

Paddlers at the inaugural Ride the Teal Wave. Read about it in the Cascadia Daily News

When we started planning to Paddle for a Cure on Bellingham Bay to raise awareness and research funding for low-grade ovarian cancer, I reached out to all the low-graders I knew of in the region. One of them was Jill Scott, who happened to live just a county away from Bellingham and also was receiving treatment at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, where both France and I were treated.

Unfortunately, Jill had ongoing complications following her surgery and was unable to participate. She promised to “share the hell out of it” anyway.

A few weeks after the event where we had hoped to meet Jill in person, she passed away from this relentless disease. Our hearts are broken and we send our love to her family, knowing that she deserved more time. She died within a year of her diagnosis.

Ride the Teal Wave is part of STAAR Ovarian Cancer Foundation’s Step Up America for Ovarian Cancer campaign. Donations support research for effective treatments to improve the outcomes for people like Jill with low-grade serous ovarian cancer.

Women with low-grade: Sara, Dawn, France, Holly and Kari.
Read more about the event here.

We all met through an online support group for low-grade serous ovarian cancer.

France and I discovered a shared love for paddling that helped us cope with this sneaky bitch of a disease.

France already was an avid paddleboarder who found that getting out on her SUP was one of the few things that brought a sense of calm throughout the intense stress of diagnosis, and that helped her to rebuild strength post surgery. 

In September 2020, I woke up in my UW hospital room on the morning of my 52nd birthday to hear my doctor confirm what I was afraid of. “It is cancer.” I was diagnosed with Stage III, possibly IV, low-grade serous ovarian cancer. As I learned more about this cancer, the words that stood out to me were: “high recurrence,” “poor prognosis,” “limited treatment options,” “chemo resistant.” I’m on a treatment that has kept my residual cancer mostly stable so far. My last scan showed residual disease, but for now I’m stable, feeling good and hopeful.

During my cancer recovery, I kept visualizing myself floating on a raft. The imagery became a reality in summer 2021 when Rob got me my first kayak.

Paddling for a Cure in Bellingham Bay, Sept. 3, 2022

Ovarian cancer was the furthest thing from my mind when I got the call. When I looked back, I did have some symptoms that could have been caused by the three tumors in my ovaries and abdomen, but nothing serious enough that I thought to mention them to a doctor. My tumors were chemo-resistant, but my surgeon got it all, and I’ve had no evidence of disease since June 2020. I’m hopeful that raising money for more research will lead to more effective treatments if my cancer comes back.

Learn more about the symptoms of ovarian cancer and why it’s mislabeled a Silent Killer.

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