Ride the Teal Wave

Join us Saturday, September 3, 2022 for Ride the Teal Wave for Ovarian Cancer, an easy-paced paddle along the shoreline of Bellingham Bay to raise research funding for low-grade serous ovarian cancer.

We’ll put in at 1 pm from the Community Boating Center, 555 Harris Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225.

If you don’t have your own, rent a kayak from the Boating Center — just $10 for two hours! They also will provide a brief safety talk.

The first 50 participants to register for the paddle will receive a teal T-shirt raising awareness about the symptoms of ovarian cancer. After the paddle, we’ll gather at Stones Throw Brewery starting around 3 pm for prize giveaways from great local businesses. (In case of foul weather, the festivities will begin at Stones Throw, 1009 Larrabee Ave., starting at 1 pm.)

Hosts France and Kari are two Northwest gals who met through an online support group for low-grade serous ovarian cancer. We 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 her cancer recovery, Kari kept visualizing herself floating on a raft. The imagery became a reality in summer 2021 when she got her first kayak.

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.

Donations go to STAAR Ovarian Cancer Foundation, the only organization in the U.S. dedicated to improving outcomes for low-grade serious ovarian cancer. Ride the Teal Wave is part of the Step Up America for Ovarian Cancer campaign.

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

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