Teal Wings of Hope - Together We Stand 4 Hope Together We Will Make A Difference
Mission Statement: Teal Wings of Hope is an organisation that works to expand public awareness of the early symptoms of ovarian cancer in an effort to contribute to the early detection of this deadly disease, and by doing so, save lives. It could be you, your mother, sister, wife, daughter. Every woman is at risk and it is important that all women are educated about ovarian cancer and the importance of knowing their family medical history.
TEAL WINGS OF HOPE - PATRON MARGARET MARJORIBANKS.
TEAL ANGELS SUPPORT GROUP
Teal Wings of Hope would like to thank and congratulate Pauline who is a survivor herself for setting up this support group that we can refer ladies to. If you know someone with ovarian cancer that needs some support please contact us so we can refer you.
Since Mary Raftery discovered that she had ovarian cancer back in August 2011 she has been determined to get the most out of life by pushing herself out of her comfort zone.
The 58-year-old from Islington married her long-term partner Darren in London a month after being diagnosed and she has been embracing major new experiences: she was interviewed about the disease on 5 News; has modelled a dress to help raise money for the ovarian cancer charity Ovacome (see photo) and took part in last year’s World Ovarian Cancer Day.
“I grasp new experiences which before I would never have imagined doing, such as the TV interview. I know that if I didn’t take on these new challenges I would only regret it,” says Mary.
“I have learnt to live in the present moment and not to worry about the future. If I’m feeling down, I know I need to do something nice.
“I no longer put off meeting close friends and book a time to see them rather than saying ‘oh we must meet up soon’.”
When Mary discovered that she had at least stage 3c ovarian cancer, she had only just taken early retirement from her career as a clinical coding manager in the NHS. She couldn’t understand why she was more tired than usual and she also had vague abdominal pain.
At first Mary didn’t want to bother her GP, as the pain would disappear after taking pain relief. “Women are very good at taking medication and getting on as if nothing is wrong, but my story shows that it really is worth getting checked out if you have persistent tummy problems. It just takes a simple CA125 blood test to find out whether ovarian cancer is a possibility,” says Mary.
Mary, like many women too, dismissed her symptoms as being the effects of menopause. But then after around nine months of not feeling quite right, her stomach grew four and a half inches within five days. It was then that Mary went to her GP and she was tested for ovarian cancer.
Mary’s cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, omentum and spleen. She was given three cycles of carboplatin and paclitaxel before surgery, in which she had a complete hysterectomy, with her ovaries, fallopian tubes and also her spleen being removed. Three weeks later she was given another three cycles of the same chemotherapy, which finished in January 2012.
It was a doubly bizarre experience for Mary, as for her the diagnosis felt so out of the blue, and also she was treated at the hospital where she had worked for over 28 years.
Since then, Mary has been given no further treatment, apart from a minor post-operative repair. She is being regularly checked every three months. And despite her positive outlook she doesn’t want other women to go through what she has endured: That is why Mary is doing whatever she can to help raise awareness of the disease and was very be happy to be involved in this year’s World Ovarian Cancer Day. Story from ovarian cancer day organisation.
LEARN MORE ABOUT OVARIAN CANCER AND TRY THE TEAL the BEAT QUIZ.
Help us with our teal THe beat campaign in February 2016.
Click Here to Participate in our Teal the Beat Campaign for February 2016.
After Being Diagnosed With Ovarian Cancer.
After finding out you have ovarian cancer, you may feel shocked, upset, anxious or confused. These are normal responses. It may be helpful to talk about your treatment options with your doctor, family and friends. Seek as much information as you feel you need. It is up to you how involved you want to be in making decisions about your treatment.
Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer in Australian women, with 1,330 new cases diagnosed in 2011. The causes of ovarian cancer are not known. Diagnosing ovarian cancer can be difficult as symptoms are often vague and shared by many other common illnesses. That is why awareness of the 4 main symptoms is so important. So remember to TEAL the BEAT. Click here to read more about ovarian cancer symptoms.
7 yr old Harlies story
There is no definitive test for ovarian cancer that is why awareness of the symptoms is so important. Sadly ovarian cancer can affect women and young girls of any age. Here is a story about a young girl called Harlie shared by her mum. Harlie’s Story
My husband and I have been I have been married for 23 years. We have 3 beautiful daughters ages 13, 12 and 7. We are your typical busy family that, for the most part, has been pretty healthy. Doctor visits, for all of us, have been few and far between.
November 12, 2013 is a day that will be forever etched into our minds. Arriving at the ER at 6:00 AM, I was determined to find the answers to the abdominal pain. This was the 3rd doctors visit in 11 days. Other off and on symptoms mixed into the equation were fever, cough, runny nose, constipation, diarrhea and throwing up. The only constant symptom was abdominal/pelvic pain which seemed to get worse with increased activity. I was so sure this was a case of appendicitis. After the initial examination and a normal urine and white blood cell count the doctor ordered an x-ray and CT scan.
At 10:00 AM the x-ray and CT scan were performed and I was promised they would be read right away.
At 10:45 the doctor entered the room with the results. It was not appendicitis, which I already determined it had to be. He went on to tell me that they found a very large mass. The mass was so large that it covered most of the pelvic cavity. I was stunned and numb, I was in a state of shock.
Tears began to fall, I kept thinking to myself, this is much too young, it can’t be. Then, I heard, “Mommy why are you crying”. My daughter, sick and in pain, was lying on the examination bed. I then had to explain to her that she has a large bump in her belly and we needed to figure what it was and how to get rid of it.
On November 13, 2013 a biopsy was done. We were told that our 7 year old daughter, Harlie, had Germ Cell Ovarian Cancer and it had spread to some lymph nodes. Nothing in life prepares you for that moment when a doctor tells you that your child has cancer. Our family is not immune to cancer as both my husband’s father and my father have battled cancer. And heck, if the doctor would have told me it was me that had cancer, I could understand. But why a seven year old, life is just not fair.
On November 14th, 2013, our daughter had surgery to remove the tumor and her left ovary. They also installed a port into her shoulder so she could receive chemotherapy. The surgery removed about 90% of the cancer. In the subsequent months she had 3 chemo treatments. A second surgery was performed in February 2014 to remove some residual spots that were questionable. The spots were biopsied and on February 20th, 2014 we were told our daughter, Harlie, was cancer free!
Story shared from Ovarian Cancer Day Org.
Teal Wings of Hope - Theme Song
Teal Wings of Hope theme song was composed by CrocQ Lucero nephew of the Teal Wings of Hope - Founders - Rafael & Karen Sabarre. This song has been written in loving memory of Margaret Marjoribanks their Sister In Law who sadly lost her battle against ovarian cancer 2 years after her diagnosis. It was at that time they set their path on trying to create awareness for ovarian cancer so other ladies and families would not have to suffer the loss of their mother, daughter, sister or wife. Thanks to the dedicated support of the ladies in the MAQuest www.maquest.com.au we are now able to promote effective awareness campaigns and provide support programs to both ladies with ovarian cancer and their families. We hope that this song gives strength to all ladies and their families who are fighting the ovarian cancer battle.
Teal Wings of Hope - theme song was launched as the opening number of the Miss International Australia Pageant 2014 www.missinternational.com.au . CrocQ is kindly donating 50% from each sale to Teal WIngs of Hope. Please Visit https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/teal-wings-of-hope-single/id936925868