September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. For Kelly Rice this represents an opportunity to spread awareness. It represents a dream to see a state lit in teal. Her effort now includes over 140 buildings in support of Ovarian cancer awareness. Keep reading to learn more, or follow the original story here for further information.
What is Ovarian Cancer?
Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer which develops in the female reproductive system. The cancer may be classified depending on the specific region of the ovary the cancer begins in and where it has spread to. While it is uncommon, women with a mutation in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene are more likely to experience ovarian cancer.
Common symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating, pelvic pain, abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, and complications with the urinary system. Barring cases involving the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, it is unclear what causes ovarian cancer at this time.
Treatments for ovarian cancer may include surgical removal (of ovaries, Fallopian tubes, uterus, nearby lymph nodes, and omentum depending on the spread of cancer), chemotherapy, and radiation. Click here to learn more about ovarian cancer.
Getting Ova It
Living through cancer is not a secret for Kelly rice. Her license plate proudly declares “Ova It.” It declares her 16 years of being in remission, and her passion for spreading awareness.
Throughout the last six years in Alabama, Rice has been a leader in igniting advocacy for ovarian cancer. Her “State of Teal” campaign began in 2012. The goal is to illuminate prominent buildings across the state during the month of September. The vent kicks off this year with an event at Newk’s Eatery in Vestavia Hills on September 6th. Several Newk’s locations in Alabama will be similarly donating a percentage of their proceeds to the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation.
A Life of Inspiration
Rice’s family has a history of cancer. It wasn’t that the cancer caught her unawares, but it was still a surprise. Perhaps most surprising was that Rice had missed the early signs despite being an oncology nurse. This represents one of the biggest problems facing ovarian cancer patients. No screening tests currently exist. doctor’s rely entirely on detecting early symptoms. Fortunately Rice’s cancer was discovered early, and determined to be slow growing.
Rice has focused most of her energy since her diagnosis on helping others. She works with the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation between six and eight hours each week. In 2011, she received the American Cancer Society’s Life inspiration Award. In May of the same year, she was appointed to the Alabama Study Commission for Gynecologic Cancers. She also says she has plans to return to her role as a nurse once her son begins college. She believes her experiences will help her be even more helpful to patients than she was before.