We’ve received some heartfelt emails from our volunteers, and we’d like to pass them along to you.
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.”