Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ovarian Cancer Month - September

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and for the second year in a row, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are hosting the O Foods Contest to raise awareness of this important health issue.

There are TWO WAYS to take part in the O Foods Contest:

ONE: Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato)

Include this entire text box in the post; and send your post url along with a photo (100 x 100) to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on Monday, September 28, 2009.

PRIZES for recipe posts:

1st: Signed copy of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma, Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who is currently battling ovarian cancer, inspired this event, and will be choosing her favorite recipe for this prize;

2nd: Signed copy of Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home by Mario Batali (winner chosen by Sara);

3rd: Signed copy of Vino Italiano: The Regional Italian Wines of Italy by Joseph Bastianich (winner chosen by Michelle).


TWO: If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word and send your post url to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on Monday, September 28, 2009.

Awareness posts PRIZE:

One winner chosen at random will receive a Teal Toes tote bag filled with ovarian cancer awareness goodies that you can spread around amongst your friends and family.


Although I truly wanted to create a dish for this event, I, unfortunately threw my back out. But, I didn't want to do nothing. So, this will be my submission and dedication to recognize an event that touches too many women, one of them a very dear friend of mine. Let me share her story.

At the age of 37 and in the prime of her life, Kate started thinking about having a second child and thoughts of buying a new home to accommodate her growing family. With a beautiful 3 yr. old daughter, devoted husband, great job and loving family and friends, life couldn’t be much better.

Kate had been feeling a little “off” and doctors were having some trouble finding the cause of her discomfort. Following a battery of tests, she received the terrifying diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer – stage 3. NO warning, NO family history and presumably NO reason. Almost immediately, Kate was whisked into surgery where numerous tumors were removed and a radical hysterectomy was performed. What followed was 6 months of chemotherapy and all the side effects associated.

At the end of the grueling 6 months, she received some relief in the doctor’s words when he told her she was in remission. With newfound respect for life and the luxury of feeling good Kate made plans to return to her job and continue with her dreams.

A short 7 months later, Kate was back in chemo fighting the battle that continued for 2 1/2 years. We lost Kate this year at the end of July.

Kate and I worked together for many years - we were also good friends. A memorial website has been created for my very dear friend.

Kate Hynninen

Only 4% of Canadian women can identify a list of the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer. Yet 2,500 Canadian women are diagnosed and 1,700 women die annually from this disease, making it the country’s most fatal gynecologic cancer.

Symptoms include bloating, pelvic pain, abdominal pain, indigestion, feeling full quickly, frequent or urgent urination, fatigue, menstrual irregularities, weight loss or weight gain. They might be nothing. But if these symptoms persist for more than three weeks, they could be signs of ovarian cancer. If you are having persistent symptoms, talk to your doctor. And even if you are not, spread the word among your sisters and friends.

Ovarian Cancer Canada is the country’s sole charity dedicated to overcoming ovarian cancer. Our mission is to provide support to women with ovarian cancer and their families, raise public awareness and fund research that will ultimately lead to a cure for the disease.

Get curious – Find out more. Visit Ovarian Cancer Canada or call 1-877-413-7970.

When Kate was first diagnosed, I created this awareness bracelet and called it Kate. I have since been working with Ovarian Cancer Canada as a third party fundraiser to do whatever I can to help raise both awareness and funds for this organization. 50% of all profits from the sale of this bracelet go directly to Ovarian Cancer research.

and in the U.S.

From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose, but include bloating, pelvic and/or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly; and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency).

There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.

In spite of this, patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region. When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.

And remember, you can also always donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at our page through First Giving. Please help spread the word about ovarian cancer.



Proud Italian Cook said...

So sorry about your beautiful friend... Thank you for spreading the word.

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry to read about Kate; thanks you for helping to spread the word, and you get healed up soon, OK?!

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Sorry, that last comment was from me; I didn't sign out of the O Foods account first.

FOODalogue said...

Such an eloquent, thoughtful and, obviously, heartfelt post. You're a good person, Giz...being involved in so many causes to help people. I admire you.

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Such a sad story. You are noble in spreading the word!

sasha said...

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here i love to share about tubal reversalis a surgical procedure that restores fertility to women after a tubal ligation.

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