Updated 08/29/2012 09:06 PM
Hope for Heather raising awareness for ovarian cancer
Day seven was Women's Day and many booths at the fair aim to educate women about their own bodies. One of those is the Hope for Heather Ovarian Cancer Awareness booth. Our Katie Gibas spoke with the founder and an ovarian cancer survivor about their stories and what Hope for Heather means to them.
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NEW YORK STATE FAIR -- Suzanne Trapper has had ovarian cancer three times. She's been in remission twice, but the cancer came back again this April.
Trapper said, "I got mad this time. I will admit. It was very frustrating because in April, I didn't have this. Now I have it in five places, so in three months, my world changed, again. And you never get used to that."
Trapper had chemotherapy last Thursday and came out to the fair that same day.
She's been volunteering at the Hope for Heather Ovarian Cancer Awareness booth every day, often for 10 hour shifts.
"This is a miserable disease, a miserable disease. No one should have to go through what I've been through. So I'm here to spread the word, get it out there to people, so they don't have to go through this," Trapper said.
And ovarian cancer can happen at any stage of life. Those working the fair say a seven-year-old from Buffalo was just diagnosed with the disease. That's why Hope for Heather Organizers say education about the symptoms is crucial for early detection.
Frieda Weeks, Hope for Heather President, said, "There is no diagnostic test for ovarian cancer. A woman's yearly exam covers cervical cancer, but not ovarian cancer. The symptoms are very vague: Bloating, abdominal pain, difficulty eating, difficulty going to the bathroom and most of the time, it's the most misdiagnosed women's cancer. It is the most deadly of all gynecological cancers."
While their main mission at the fair is education, 60 percent of the money raised from donations goes to education and patient support here in Central New York and 40 percent goes to national research.
"We really need to band together as women and form more grassroots organizations to make women aware of this disease," Weeks said.
That's why you will see the teal ribbon throughout the Month of September, which is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Organizers say knowing more about the disease could save your life.
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