For 14 years, Doylestown Borough has joined the national campaign to promote awareness about ovarian cancer and raise funds for research of the dangerous disease that often goes unrecognized.
On Saturday, dozens of volunteers gathered in the center of town to hear organizers of “Turn the Town Teal” speak about the second most common form of gynecological cancer in the U.S. and see how to attach large teal-colored ribbons around trees across the community to mark Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
“This is a hideous, ugly and dangerous disease,” said Joan Doyle, who lost her sister to ovarian cancer. As the event’s longtime coordinator, Doyle told the crowd, many dressed in teal shirts and dresses, they were helping save lives. “You never know when someone will see a ribbon and read about the symptoms.”
And, she added, “the earlier the diagnosis the better the prognosis.” Doyle also credited her co-coordinator, Cathy Hoot.
Doylestown Mayor Nonni West echoed that sentiment. “The heroes are you today and our survivors,” she said to the family and friends of those who have suffered from the illness, as well as approximately a dozen survivors. One survivor was diagnosed when she was just 12 years old. Soon she’ll start college, Doyle said.
Jane MacNeill, a key figure in the national movement, came from New Jersey to address the group. “I’m absolutely blown away by this support,” she said. The nationwide initiative began 16 years ago and has spread to all 50 states.
Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.