We’ve received some heartfelt emails from our volunteers, and we’d like to pass them along to you.
Blanche from Ft. Smith, AK wrote:
This has proven to be the most singular awareness-raising activity we have been involved with.
Sally from Delaware Ovarian Cancer Organization wrote:
I really enjoyed talking with you about the Turn The Towns Teal campaign in Delaware.
The TTTT campaign was extremely successful in Delaware, including 10 towns and garnering more publicity than ever before.
I personalized invitations to each of the Mayors of the towns, and followed up with phone calls to encourage the Mayors and their staff to join us as we decorated their towns with our beautiful Teal bows.
With the press releases being sent to local newspapers by the Mayors , more attention was given to this event, resulting in more photos and newsprint regarding the TTTT campaign and its significance.
I will follow up with handwritten thank you notes to each Mayor, then present the men with a Teal Tie and the women with a hand made Ruffle Teal Scarf to wear in September and on Teal Tuesdays,
By including the Mayor and staff of the towns, we cultivated more interest and support for our Awareness Campaigns for ovarian cancer. They now have a better understanding of the necessity of Education and Awareness regarding ovarian cancer in helping save the lives of more women.
Hope for the Present, a Cure for the Future!
Sally Oberle, MAS
Delaware Ovarian Cancer Foundation, VP Special Projects
Most recently Terrie from Northeville, ME sent in:
Tying teal ribbons around downtown signs and light posts is an annual tradition for Northville resident Terrie K. and her friends. It’s part of a cross-country effort to “Turn The Towns Teal” for National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, which takes place in September.
For Terrie, Monday’s event was especially meaningful: Her friend Vicki V. died from Ovarian Cancer in July. “I had gone to see Vicki a few weeks before she passed away,” said Terrie, who’s a survuvor herself. “As I left, she grabbed my arm and said, “If I’m not there teal-ing the town, remember, you’re doing it for me.”
Kathy from Lexington, KY wrote:
I wanted to forward this picture of my granddaughter, Courtney, who helped us put up the bows in downtown Lexington, KY. It is hard to believe it is time to take them down already. It always gives us reason to look forward to September.
Awesome, I just ordered 3 more rolls of ribbon, I am sending some to everyone who has sponsored me in my walk against ovarian cancer. Hope to turn every house teal with at least one ribbon.
Catherine from Wayne, MI sent us:
Catherine Buchanan, owner of Independent Carpet One in Wayne, MI, got involved with Turn The Towns Teal five years ago after seeing our Teal ribbons in MI. She said this has been an incredibly rewarding experience for her and her staff,
“My entire staff takes the morning off, closing the store and we tie ribbons along Wayne Road, Michigan Avenue and Ford Road. This is our fifth year doing this and it has brought to us so many wonderful experiences. People in the city come up to us and ask what the teal ribbons signify and they proceed to tell us stories of women they know suffering from Ovarian cancer or have passed.
A lovely lady saw our ribbons, called us and asked how she could get involved since her daughter in law was struggling with OC. She came in, picked up a few bolts of ribbon and started just tying on her street. Now the family helps us in their city of Wayne. This year every ribbon tied is in her honor of her strength and determination to beat cancer. She has an amazing spirit and we’ve become friends.
Eileen from Mendham, NJ shared this important message with us:
My grandmother died very suddenly from Ovarian Cancer; so unhealthy ovaries have always been on my mind.
Years go by – and one day I am running in Mendham and saw the beautiful TEAL ribbons. I stopped to read what they were for, and I was reminded of my constant concern but excited to see an awareness campaign to help me, “Turn the Towns Teal”. I kept bugging my gynecologist of my concerns – but she never really took me seriously.
Finally, I attended a conference on Ovarian Cancer at Morristown’s Carol Simon Cancer Center and learned a great deal of this horrible disease. With that knowledge I pushed my gynecologist hard and finally got a referral to the head of woman’s cancer center Morristown Memorial Hospital who quickly agreed I was at risk, and he scheduled my surgery for the following week.
Thanks to those TEAL ribbons I saw years ago I can sleep at night knowing the deadly disease that took my Grandmother’s life so young and so quickly, will not happen to me. Now I “Teal” my town and hope other lives will be saved through the awareness program of TURN THE TOWNS TEAL!
Nicole from Ft. Wright, KY, was a first time volunteer and she got 16 towns to participate in Turn The Towns Teal. She writes……..
Your organization is able to reach so many!!! It is simply INCREDIBLE!! While we Turned The Towns Teal in northern Kentucky, it reached people all over the world through social media… The symptoms were shared over & over!
Just yesterday someone shared a picture of me w/ a Turn The Towns Teal ribbon & I used it to promote the symptoms & donations to your organization. Thank you & Trish for ALL that you do!! It truly has made a big difference in my life & countless others!!!! There is just no way to track how many lives you are saving!!
Has it only been 4 years? It seems as if MIOCA has been with us forever! MIOCA is a SUPERIOR example how we partner with other ovarian cancer organizations. Turn The Towns Teal provides the VISUAL with our eco-friendly ribbons and lawn signs; MIOCA (and other ov ca organizations) distribute their own symptom cards, etc. Additionally when we hear from a volunteer from MI, we email them back and ask if they’re familiar with MIOCA, and many have benefitted from MIOCA’s ongoing support. Thank you Pam Dahlmann, Marcia Gurche and the entire MIOCA team!!
Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MIOCA) partnered for the first time with Turn the Towns Teal in 2010. At that time, we had a very small board of directors who felt that it was important to raise ovarian cancer awareness as there was no group doing this in the State of Michigan. We turned one city teal, Saline, MI. Four years later, we have gown this to over 50 cities!! We value our partnership with Turn the Towns Teal as there is no better way to unite all of these cities in an ovarian cancer awareness effort. We are all working together to make a difference! If I gave the biggest positive about this campaign, it would be that we have met so many wonderful people who have continued to work with MIOCA throughout the years.
If you’ve followed us on Facebook and looked at the photos of our campaigns, you’ll certainly recognize the names Judie & Tony from Bristol, CT………..
First, please let me compliment you and Trish on the wonderful photo display on TEAL’s web site. Just beautifully done! That was no small task, and I know everyone appreciates all the hard work that went into it.
The “love-hate” relationship we’ve developed with Turn The Towns Teal gets more poignant each year. LOVE putting up those ribbons and HATE when they have to come down 🙂 Once it’s done, however, we’re already thinking of ways to improve on raising awareness next season.
As I was reflecting on this year’s campaign in particular, I couldn’t help coming back to one thing: Turn The Towns Teal does not only raise awareness and pretty up the towns with color. We also “empower”. Four years ago when we first connected with you, even I was hesitant to speak openly about my personal involvement with the disease. It obviously could no longer remain private, as Bristol wanted an explanation for its beautiful TEAL landscape come September. And so my story was shared. But it was in hindsight that I realized that each year more and more women were asking questions about OVCA, and even I was no longer reluctant to share what I knew and how I managed to survive.
And Women are reminded daily to “get you regular mammogram done”. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone ask: “What was your last CA125?” or “how’re your ovaries doing?” I wouldn’t say it was a taboo subject, but it certainly wasn’t part of something you shared on a night out for drinks with your friends. UNTIL NOW! I actually have had women (and many young women at that) ask me questions they probably would never have thought to ask before TEAL came to the forefront. They’re concerned because they’ve been educated through awareness. They’re becoming pro-active about a part of their body that, before what seems like an epidemic of OVCA diagnoses surfaced. Ovarian cancer is talked about more openly now. Why? Because Turn The Towns Teal has “EMPOWERED” women with the knowledge to ask questions, taught them what a CA125 was, and what to look for as warning signs. TEAL has taught them not to dread the possibility of an ovarian cancer diagnosis because early detection can save their life.
Yes, Turn The Towns Teal has “EMPOWERED” women to speak up. Maybe the symptoms have been referred to as “silent”, but women no longer are. “I am EMPOWERED and I am helping to EMPOWER others”! I have my team of doctors AND Turn The Towns Teal to thank for that!
Kathy from Lexington, KY writes…….
Dear Jane, Trish and Everyone who makes TTTT Wonderful,
What a lucky day when I met Jane at OCNA in 2013. Turn The Towns Teal has had a huge impact on me, Lexington and across the country. I know a few stories of those who were touched by the bows. Even my 7-yr. old granddaughter told her classmates, “Those are my Grammie’s bows!” Everything you do is first class. The quality of the ribbon is amazing and no cost shipping is above and beyond. I hope this contribution will help keep up your good work. I am so proud to be a part of your fantastic organization. So many more people are aware now because of you. We are going to need more ribbon next year! Fondly, Kathy
AND Kathy’s husband, Ted, wrote the following to their newspaper:
“Aided in cancer fight”……
Not all cancers are pink. As I take down the teal ribbons that are the color of my wife’s ovarian cancer as well as her later mother’s, I can’t help but be thankful to live in Lexington where the community gave us such support during September, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. A small group of dedicated volunteers from Bluegrass Ovarian Cancer Support tied and hung well over 100 ribbons downtown, at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and at Fayette Mall. Through rain, wind and the heat of the late summer sun, the ribbons held up. They helped spread the word about this silent killer that is so very hard to detect because there is no test yet. May God bless all and protect you from all cancers.
Judy from Anoka, MN wrote…………. Thanks for all that you do to get us organized every year!!! Lots of love……..
Cindy from Waldorf, MD sent us the following……..I went back to the establishments I Tealed (restaurants, stores and salons) and asked if they wanted me to remove the ribbons today. I was surprised that they all asked me to leave them up!!!
I learned about CT WOMEN OF HOPE a few years ago. Like clockwork, Joanne (from Putnam, CT) shares our FB posts. After “Tealing” again this year, Joanne wrote………..When you do things like this our goal is to hopefully reach out to someone and know that you’ve just made a difference! Today we spoke with quite a few people asking what the teal bows were for and one woman who stopped her car and let us know how happy the teal bows were up again..you see my mom would love to drive by and see the teal and was so excited last year she said she has now passed and for her the teal bows meant so much and the gentlemen later in the day sharing his girlfriend died..it is our passion to educate and bring awareness to ovarian cancer. We are proud to be part of our new organization that is working hard to develop new programs and strong relationships with the community. We are making a difference and after leaving a national organization to start on our own we couldn’t be happier. We know where our money is and how it is being used. We are able to help on a personal level and care about each and every individual. When people work together it doesn’t matter what the job at hand is. Everything becomes easier and most difficulties are erased. So, for the month of September share what teal is and join us we need volunteers. Our group consists of all non paid staff so every person who can volunteer is very much appreciated. thank you!
Surya was in Somerville, NJ and wrote to her ov ca organization……..It was a pleasant surprise this afternoon as we were walking down Main Street in Somerville to see the Teal ribbons waving in the breeze. What a beautiful sight to behold. Fortunately, I had my camera with me and shot a few pictures which are attached. Enjoy!
Tina & Manny from Bayonne, NJ started Teal TenderHearts, and they made our day when they told us……….We actually spoke with several of other ov ca organizations about “teaming up”. We were SO impressed that not only did you all get back to us immediately but also by your caring and personal “touch”. We value our relationship with Turn The Towns Teal!
Mary @ The Sylvester Cancer Center at the University of Miami Hospital & Clinics sent this note…….Thank you so much for everything. We had so many positive comments from your Teal awareness campaign. I am hoping next year it will be bigger and better.
Tammy posted the following to one of the survivor Facebook groups: Georgetown, Delaware was taking down the Teal Ribbons yesterday. My husband stopped and asked if he could have one to give to me. I will display my ribbon all the time!”
Travis in Germantown, TN & owner of the Germantown Day Spa, Salon & Medical Aesthetics shares that she just found out about Turn The Towns Teal, and………… Turn The Towns Teal was brought to my attention from one of my hair stylist whose mother, Patty, is an ovarian cancer survivor. We had Patty come to our first staff meeting in September where we told her what we were up to and presented her with a bracelet with teal beads and charms engraved with courage, love, and encouragement. She was over whelmed with joy.
We ordered the Teal Ribbon and made bows. We offered a Teal Manicure and a Teal Pedicure where we donated $1 for every service. We had a hair styling product line that is packaged in teal and we donated 20% of every sale. We ordered online the symptom cards and a card went into to every retail bag that left the spa. We had Patty come back to the last staff meeting where we served white cupcakes with teal icing and showed her the check for $131.85. It was our first attempt and practice but now an ongoing plan. We also told her the donation would be made in honor of her and that her name would now be on the national website. Once again she was blown over. Look out because next year will be BIG!!!!
We really like to see our high schools & colleges get involved in this, our ov ca awareness campaign. Marcia in the Office of Advancement @ Bishop McCort Catholic High School (Johnstown, PA) wrote……….Last Wednesday, September 10, many of our students along with adult volunteers tied ribbons and placed signs throughout our local area after school. We got coverage on our local television station and a great picture appeared in our local newspaper, The Johnstown Tribune Democrat. While they were tying the ribbons, the students were often approached by folks asking about the meaning behind it. Our whole school has turned teal for the month with ribbons and bows everywhere both in and outside. Saturday night’s football game will feature an ovarian cancer awareness theme as well. We hope to have more ribbons tied at the stadium, too.
The main streets sure looked dreary when the ribbons came down in October! We are looking forward to participating again next year.
Terry in Allentown, NJ received the following………….. Hi Girl, I had dinner with my girlfriend in town, her mom passed away from ovarian cancer and she saw the teal all over and was so happy. She wondered if she could get a ribbon and I said I would ask you if you had any extra ones. Her town doesn’t do the ribbons in the businesses. Let me know if you have one to spare. Her mom’s favorite color was teal and she was born in Sept and died in Sept so my friend wants to keep a bow for her.
In honor of their friend, Linda, Jody and her friends TEAL Greenwich and now Stamford, CT. Jody related this to me…………Frosty was “Tealing” when a teenage boy stopped and asked her for a symptom card. He wanted to give it to his Mom as one of her friends had recently been diagnosed with ov ca.
I asked Barbara from Guilford, CT to share her reflections of “Tealing” for the first time. Thank you, Barbara not only for all you did but for providing guidelines for first-time “Tealers”!
The July 2014 OCNA Conference was my second as a member/volunteer, and I was thrilled to meet Jane and get information about this exciting TEALING event. Little did I think at that time I would actually TEAL my little town of Guilford.
Overall this experience has been a profound and illuminating one. As a 24 year resident of Guildford, I felt a strong determination to make this happen.
In early August I met with the First Selectman to share this program and ask for support. Not only did he offer the town’s backing, the board wrote a Proclamation stating that September would be Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in our town!
After ordering the supplies, I made copies of the Proclamation so that the shopkeepers could see that this was an approved program in town and to encourage them to participate. Each business owner received a poster, symptom cards, and one or two ribbons already stapled in the form of the cancer symbol. Lawn posters were also positioned at key places on the Green.
I concentrated on shops on the Green and received wonderful support. Two shops turned their windows TEAL. At another we put a mannequin in a teal dress and put the TURN THE TOWNS TEAL hat on her! Several other businesses ~ not on the Green ~ were also TEALED with lots of enthusiasm!
Women and men both shared very personal stories of how/when ovarian and other cancers had impacted their families, and many also posted their participation on their Facebook page. Most expressed thanks for the TEAL campaign and for raising disease awareness. The Women & Family Life Center posted all the information on its website for community members it serves all year long. My neighbors eagerly decorated their mailboxes and trees with ribbons.
The Guildford Courier printed an announcement about our campaign, and photos were taken during the month ~ many with the participating shopkeeper.
Lessons Learned & Goals for 2015:
*Get a group of volunteers to help. I took names this year for next.
*Start earlier. For example, if we want a large TEAL banner on Route 1, we have to apply in January. It’s already on my calendar.
*Get two major grocery stores to participate with point of purchase donations for the month.
*Meet in early summer 2015 with Chamber of Commerce/supply them with information packets for maximum store participation.
*Send photo to newspaper and get human interest story on front page of Courier.
*June meeting with friends from the six shoreline towns with goal of TEALING THE CONNECTICUT SHORELINE IN 2015!!!!!
Later, Barbara wrote…….It was such meaningful fun – the entire month!! While I was on a road trip to Montreal the last week of September, we passed through towns in upstate NY & VT with TEAL……way to go!!!!
BRISTOL, CT …….Judie found the letter below in her mailbox bright & early one September morning………
I am inspired by your situation. You have given hope & crucial information to all affected by ovarian cancer. I have been silent about my own experience as I have felt the need for privacy, but I want you to know that you helped me. I recognized the signs. On May 3 I had surgery and will complete chemotherapy on Sept 11. The cancer was contained. It was Stage 2, and the prognosis is quite good. Thank you for getting the word out.
ANN ARBOR, MI…..This note was sent to us from Pam Dahlmann, who along w/ her Mother, founded MIOCA, Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance. The quote below comes from an ov ca survivor who is also on the Board of MIOCA.
I was visiting my hometown in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for my class reunion, and was thrilled to see they had turned the town teal. There were ribbons on trees, light posts, and garbage bins. It went on for blocks. They did it up right.
**BTW……..Pam and her Mom started with us in 2010 with 2 towns in MI. Last year thanks to the MIOCA volunteers, Turn The Towns Teal was represented in 29 towns throughout the State of Michigan!
COTUIT, MA…..Ribbons to Remember
You never know what act of awareness will do. At our awareness table here on Cape Cod, a woman and her daughter walked by and I heard the mom explaining how it’s the same disease that had teal ribbons all over their town in CT. in September. So I asked her how she knew all of that and she told me that the ribbons led her to the @turnthetownsteal website where she learned all about ovarian cancer!
WILTON, CT ~ Ashley writes…..
I just wanted to forward the article below written as a result of our turning the town of Wilton, CT teal! It was a great day for me, my children, and our friends. My mother would be so proud! http://goodmorningwilton.com/wiltonians-goes-teal-for-ovarian-cancer-awareness/
ANOKA, MN……..Judith’s sister has been volunteering with Corri Trotter in Morris, IL for years, and this year we’re grateful that Judith joined us.
We had a young lady drive up and ask us if this was for the ovarian cancer campaign in September. I told her yes, and she said she was a survivor!! She was diagnosed when she was 16. I asked how they caught it. She said she looked like she was pregnant – that’s how big the tumor was. Now she is 28 and has 80% of her other ovary. Unfortunately we were interrupted and I didn’t get any other information. But it made us feel SO GOOD about what we were doing!!
FT. SMITH, AK……Blanche and a group of supporters recently founded the River Valley Chapter of the Arkansas Ovarian Cancer Coalition, and she writes…..
The ribbons have caused a big stir in the downtown area…this has been one of the best awareness campaigns we’ve experienced. People were literally rolling down windows to ask us what we were doing when we were tying them. They were also stopping to read the message, trying to figure out what we were up to. A friend who saw them along the avenue commented, “Look at all those teal ribbons! Blanche & her group have been down here!!” 6 years ago hardly anyone in our community realized that teal is ovarian cancer awareness color, so we think we’re making some good progress. Thank you for your creativity in coming up with this idea. Your sister in law would be SO proud. Next year we want to get enough to tie on the hospital campuses, too. We got a picture in the local newspaper, too.
OPELIKA, AL …….. I read an article about Nan Galik and called to talk to her about Turn The Towns Teal. Nan totally embraced the program and partnered the Teal Magnolias with us. Nan wrote…..
“I’m just SO excited about this program that I can hardly contain myself! The cities have been so generous and so supporting.” Teal ribbons adorned Auburn, Opelika and LaFayette.
SYRACUSE, NY…..SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY….Yvline lost her Mom to ovarian cancer. She rallied her fellow Haitian Students for a campus awareness campaign and writes……
I am delighted to say that the Turn the Towns Teal Campaign at Syracuse University was a SUCCESS! Although we didn’t reach the monetary goal that we set, we did make steps towards the ultimate goal which was to spread awareness about ovarian cancer and its often silent symptoms. In fact, we were actually featured in different magazines/newspapers on campus!
CANTON, MA ~ New to Turn The Towns Teal this year, Linda writes……..
It was a privilege to participate in this event. Looking forward to next year, hopefully bigger and better. Thank you for starting this campaign. I know it saves lives. Thank you!”
ALLENTOWN, NJ…….Terry, a long time Turn The Towns Teal® supporter, shares a poignant story from this year’s campaign.
Yesterday I along with a great bunch, of people, tied teal ribbons on Main St in honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness.
The kids had left, I drove my son home, and then I went back downtown to take photos and fix fallen ribbons.
While there a woman with her 2 kids in the car was pulled over. She saw my shirt and ribbon and asked me if I had done this.
She then went on to tell me that she was just driving through town and saw the teal and had to stop and read the ribbons. She had lost her mom from Ovarian Cancer in Feb.
We stood there on the street corner – 2 strangers – hugging and crying. She wished her mom had been able to see such a display, maybe she would have found it earlier.
We talked for quite some time. I met her kids. She told them that I had survived from what nana had. She took the info from Turn The Towns Teal so she can help (maybe teal her own town) next year. .
I wish her mom had seen the ribbons too. I hope my ribbons are making women think and pay attention to their bodies. I hope more moms are around to see their grandkids grow up.
This email is from someone who volunteered with us for years. We’re including her message as it just shows how much this campaign means to survivors.
“We are trying to pass on this invaluable torch for others to carry. I am in hospice and unable to continue and my family is on the edge, with travel involved. We did not say “no” but… difficult year. Love ya much and good luck.”(Unfortunately, this lovely woman passed away 9 days after writing this.)
Shari, West Windsor, NJ, has been a supporter of Turn The Towns Teal from the very beginning when we were personally fulfilling and shipping out our orders. Now, due to our success and growth, our materials are housed and shipped from a warehouse. It was so gratifying to receive this email from Shari.
“I just received my TTTT package! I am VERY impressed! It was ordered on Saturday and it is already here, everything about it screams professional. Love the t-shirt and hat and plan on taking the hat on the cruise and wearing it proudly. Who knows, maybe I will be able to recruit a few people for next year. Thank you again for everything that you do.”
Then while “Tealing” West Windsor, Shari wrote:
“We just returned from “Tealing” West Windsor. A young woman stopped and came over to one of the cheerleader’s moms. They started hugging and crying. After a few minutes, Kathy brought the young lady over and introduced her to me. Megan’s mom was a very beloved teacher in our school district and she lost her battle to ov ca about 4 years ago. Megan asked if she could tie one ribbon in memory of her mom and of course we loved to have her help. She joined us, and we took everyone for pizza when we finished. She is a student at the University of Delaware and wants to get involved. I gave her your contact information but asked that she wait until September was over to contact you.” PS: Megan is a Senior at The University of Delaware. We contacted her and sent her some ribbon and symptom cards. She will be continuing w/ our campaign next year, and her sorority will continue the program at the U of D next year.
Jeanine Ketch with the help of her family “Tealed” all of downtown Rochester, MN last year. This year Jeanine got the support from a group of survivors and friends, and they pre made a “boat load” of bows. (Pls. see Jeanine’s photos.) I asked Jeanine if she could get the support of the Mayo Clinic, but she told me that would be difficult. Please see Jeanine’s enthusiastic email below…
“Jane Jane Jane I am jumping out of my skin here. One of the ladies who helped me tie bows this week just called. She is a nurse and brought a bow into work. The docs were VERY impressed and want bows and ribbon!!! THIS IS HUGE~ TEAL AT MAYO!!! See…..dreams do come true. WOW!!!”
Terry Veiga, Allentown, NJ, shares the following…
“I had to share this. Proof positive that the efforts of this campaign work!! This was posted on my FB page from a good friend of mine…
Thank you – for everything you did to make me more aware of something not feeling quite right and acting upon it. Your efforts with Turn the Town Teal motivated me to go to the Dr. and “by the Grace of God” I do not have ovarian cancer, but an incidental find turned up stage 1 kidney cancer. I am very lucky and I am very blessed. They would have never found it if I had not gone in for an ultrasound. I would have not gone in for an ultrasound if I didn’t read your post, your story and see your Teal Ribbons to remind me to do something about it. From my heart, I say , thank you ♥ ” Pattie Starzynski
Judi Lodovico, Bristol, CT, was visiting one of her children in Ft. Lauderdale a couple of years ago and spotted one of our Teal ribbons on a mail box. She marched up to the home, found out about Turn The Towns Teal, contacted us, and she and her husband Tony have been loyal supporters ever since. Please do go to the website to see all the photos they sent of Bristol. Judi writes…
“We’ve had an absolute ball this year. The enthusiasm from our community just fuels our energy, and we’re already making plans on what we can do to make things better for next year! I’ve become known as “the teal lady” around town.
We were allowed by the Mayor to keep the 70 foot Christmas tree tealed for another week, when the arborist is able to get here to take the bows off! That tree was a HUGE (no pun intended) coup for our committee, and the pictures I’ve sent just don’t do it justice. In TEAL’s own way, we’ve managed to both raise awareness and rejuvenate an old fashioned stroll down Main Street.
I was driving home from the store yesterday and heard one of the many PSA’s on ovarian cancers symptoms and what to look for. Gave me goose bumps! But it also made me realize all the effort put into this campaign has made people take notice! You should be very, very proud.
Congratulations to you and all the other communities who have helped to make this happen! I am so happy I “accidentally” saw those teal ribbons in Florida a few years back!”
Diane Peoples hails from Salisbury, NC. Her friend Lybby, in late stages of ov ca, went to Asheville to visit her daughter. Lybby saw Asheville “Tealed” and told Diane all about it upon her return. Diane and her husband “Teal” Salisbury in Lybby’s honor and Diane sent us two very poignant emails about her experiences.
“Hey Diane I just wanted to thank you for your mission with Ovarian Cancer Awareness. I think without you telling me I would have ignored the symptoms I was having and kept blowing them off. I went to the urologist this morning and I was expecting to have a problem with my kidneys and he told me I have an ovarian cyst that has possibly been there for a while. He decided we are going to wait 2 months and see if it grows or goes away or my symptoms get worse to find out what action we need to take. Thank you again without you telling me about everything I know for sure I would have kept ignoring it and not to mention 3 doctors so far have blown it off as a bladder infection including the gynecologist!”
And here’s another from Diane…
“I just had to share this with you !
I had just started my journey and found a small store with a young lady who was very interested in what I had to say. She told me when she was younger she had to have something removed from her ovary. She went on to tell me her symptoms of late and I did everything I could not to cry. She was a small lady, visibly bloated, and had every symptom on the card. She has no insurance and doesn’t know what to do. I gave her my card and wrote down the name of a local clinic that treats patients with no insurance. She was amazed that I went to the trouble to do all of that for her…..to which I replied, you are why I am here!
While it broke my heart to meet this young lady I couldn’t help but think of my conversation with Lybby. She told me if just one person’s life was saved by this project she would feel her life meant something. I can’t help but believe that my angel Lybby was by my side yesterday as I walked the streets of Salisbury!
I will end with thanking you for this opportunity. I can’t tell you how tired and sore and downright hurting I am right now…and happy as a lark for it~ Let’s work to make more and more towns and people strive to feel this way!”
Cathy Buchanan, of Carpet One Stores in Westland, MI, was on her way to a football game when our ribbons caught her eye and piqued her curiosity. She contacted us and has been a most enthusiastic supporter from day one. Cathy wrote…
“You truly have no idea what these teal ribbons mean until someone shares their story. Well…I take that back you do know what it means because you live eat and breathe this and you’ve been experiencing stories for 5 years now. My match has just been struck and the flame is started and I promise it will not burn out. I promise it will shine through not only Wayne and Westland but hopefully throughout every city where there is a Carpet One store.
I must share with you one amazing story that had happened to me, not that there weren’t a number of stories that will permanently remain in my memory and heart but this has changed my life for the better.
Our teal ribbons had been up for a week or two and a press release was published. I thought it would be a small article that wound up being a full page article with pictures of me and our store. The article spoke about Turn the Towns Teal and why we had adorned our streets and the meaning behind our purpose. The article came out in the Sunday paper and on Monday morning a wonderful woman walked in our door and created a passion in me that will never cease. Her name is Katherine, and she’s a 17 year ovarian cancer survivor. She wanted to meet me and thank me for bringing forth the awareness of this as of now secret disease. She warmed my heart and brought us both to tears and hugging. Jane…I was meant to do this. I was meant to drive through Ann Arbor last year and see the teal ribbons.”
Jodi Metzler found us this year by driving through Sharon, MA, and she wrote the following…
“I felt compelled to call your organization when I was overwhelmed by the sight of hundreds of teal ribbons strategically placed throughout my former hometown. Turn the Towns Teal undoubtedly ignites meaningful conversations, generates awareness, and saves lives.
Ovarian cancer survivors and caregivers can be burdened by feelings of isolation on their journey because the disease isn’t as well-known as others. Your teal ribbons are so reassuring–like a warm hug–and remind them that they’re not alone in the fight against this insidious disease.
As the primary caregiver for my beloved Mom who has been fighting ovarian cancer for more than a decade, I want you to know how profoundly your campaign affected me this year. Each and every time I drove through my former hometown I couldn’t help but smile, knowing that the community was rallying behind a cause so close to my heart. Instead of feeling disappointed by the lack of teal during National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, I was overwhelmed by it. Believe me, I went out of my way many times just to drive through the sea of teal ribbons because it made me feel so good. For that, and for everything you do, I am deeply grateful. Your tireless efforts, dedication, and passion for ovarian cancer awareness are truly having an impact.”
Pam Dahlman heads up the MIOCA, Michigan Ovarian Cancer Awareness , and last year she had several of her chapters “Teal” Michigan. This year, Turn The Towns Teal was represented in 15 member chapters of MIOCA.
“The Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MIOCA.org) was proud to once again partner with Turn The Towns Teal to raise awareness of ovarian cancer in 15 communities in the state. As the ribbons were hung, people walking by asked about their significance. That provided just one of many opportunities to educate others about the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Throughout the month, MIOCA volunteers used the ribbons to highlight awareness activities including the Teal Gate before a University of Michigan football game and a farmer’s market in Northville. The month ended with Turn the Village Teal in which organizers connected ovarian cancer’s awareness color of teal with Detroit’s passion for cars at the upscale shopping area, the Village of Rochester Hills. Turn The Towns Teal ribbons were prominently displayed on a unique collection of teal and turquoise classic cars from the 1930s through the 1960s.”