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“Gift of Life” promotes ovarian cancer awareness


Last updated 9/12/2012 at Noon

Regina Rogers and Norma Simpson of the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” program were making their rounds and stopped by commissioners’ court for a proclamation recognizing September as “National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month” and” October as “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” They were joined by Orange County breast cancer survivor and “Gift of Life” volunteer, Beverly Perry.

Oct. 1 is recognized as Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Day.

The Gift of Life has several upcoming events planned including “Lace Up and Save Lives” with Richard Simmons, celebrity guest and internationally recognized fitness expert. The second annual Julie Richardson Proctor 5K ribbon run/walk presented by Casa Ole’ and HEB is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29 in downtown Beaumont.

Registration is $35, students (21 and under) $10. Lunch and activities are included. Registration is at 7 a.m. Welcome and warm up with Richard Simmons will be at 7:30 a.m. The 5K start time is at 8 a.m. with Pink and Teal Plaza activities. Stayin’ Alive picnic in the Park with Richard Simmons is at 10 a.m. Yvonne Washington, the queen of rhythm and blues, will be back by popular demand.

There will also be a Men in Pink 5K ribbon run/walk at 10 a.m.

Saturday Night Fever featuring the Pointer Sisters will be Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Join them for dinner and disco at the Civic Center in downtown Beaumont.

BRA-vo! Applause for the Cause survivor project is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 20 at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas. BRA-vo is an artful expression of breast cancer survivorship that shows support for early breast cancer detection with a “seriously uplifting” bra decorating experience. The exhibit will run from Sept. 20-Nov. 2 at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas.

BraMANia Men in Pink Debut will be Thursday, Sept. 20 at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas. They are manly men and they’re wearing bras for the cause. Support your local Men in Pink.

Save 20 percent at hundreds of Southeast Texas merchants with the Pink Shopping Card. The $50 shopping card is 100 percent tax-deductible and is good for shopping Thursday, Oct. 25 through Monday, Nov. 5.

The Julie Richardson Proctor Ovarian Cancer Educational Awareness Program started in remembrance of Julie Richardson Proctor a devoted Gift of Life board member and volunteer. It joins the “Gift of Life” mission of early detection of breast and prostate cancer.

Proctor lost her life to ovarian cancer in April of 2011 at the age of 51.

Considered a silent disease, ovarian cancer will this year affect more than 25,000 women, over half of whom will lose their lives.

When detected at an early stage the survival rate is over 90 percent. Unfortunately, most women aren’t diagnosed until they’ve reached the later stage, when the survival rate is only 25 percent.

While most women with ovarian cancer do not have any known risk factors, some do exist. Having one or more risk factors does not mean a woman will develop ovarian cancer; however, her risk for the disease does increase. Risk factors include:

-Family history of ovarian, breast or colorectal cancer

-A previous cancer diagnosis of the breast, colon, rectum or uterus

-Age: a woman’s highest risk for ovarian cancer begins in her mid-60s and increases through her 70s. Some are diagnosed earlier, but most at age 55 or older.

-Never has been pregnant, infertility, having a first child after age 30, starting menstruation before age 12 or experiencing menopause after age 50.

-Hormone replacement therapy for menopause

-Having an eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish background

Symptoms of ovarian cancer may include the following: abdominal or pelvis pain; frequency and/or urgency of urination; abdominal swelling and/or pain; bloating and/or a feeling of fullness; increased abdominal size; and pain down her legs.

Ovarian cancer should be considered in women who have symptoms for more than 12 days every month. If you notice changes that are not normal and could be the sign of ovarian cancer, especially if symptoms last more than two or three weeks, see your physician.

The Pap smear does not detect ovarian cancer. It only detects cervical cancer.

Pictured: Beverly Perry and Regina Rogers accept a proclamation at commissioners’ court naming September as National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pictured left to right: Front row- Beverly Perry and Regina Rogers. Second Row- Commissioners David Dubose and Owen Burton, Judge Carl Thibodeaux and Commissioner John Dubose. Not pictured-Commissioner Jody Crump and Norma Simpson. RECORD PHOTO: Penny LeLeux.


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