On May 8, World Ovarian Cancer Day, Donna Wiegle shared the following with us: “There’s no better day than today to share with you what I am planning to do … ride across the country on a motorcycle promoting ovarian cancer awareness.”
She’s calling the ride Teal on Wheels, since teal is the official color for ovarian cancer awareness.
Donna plans a month-long ride across the country solo on a teal and white 2016 Harley Davidson Heritage Classic motorcycle. The ride is planned for September, which is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
She’ll be wearing a leather jacket with a Teal on Wheels logo on the back and a flag with a teal cancer ribbon proudly displayed on the back of the bike. She plans to schedule stops along the way to talk with women’s groups, to doctors and nurses at medical centers.
“This ride is an opportunity to share my story, and the story of other women affected by ovarian cancer. It’s a chance to educate women and men, doctors and nurses — anyone I encounter about the symptoms of ovarian cancer.”
In her fundraising page on GoFundMe for Teal on Wheels, Donna explains her mission: “Three years ago, I was diagnosed with stage IIIB ovarian cancer and given a 5-year prognosis. It took my medical team more than two years to figure out what was wrong with me.
“Over the past three years, I have heard many stories that were like mine. I have met women who knew something was wrong with them and they felt like no one was listening. They received diagnoses of irritable bowel syndrome, GERD, urinary tract infection, diverticulitis, chronic fatigue, and even suggestions of mental health issues — no one suspected ovarian cancer.
“In her lifetime, a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer is one in eight. Her chance of getting ovarian cancer is 1 in 78.
“With no screening tests for ovarian cancer, by the time most women are diagnosed, they have stage III or IV cancer with a 5-year survival rate of less than 44 percent. Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.”
“I will be carrying business cards with the symptoms of ovarian cancer — abdominal bloating, lower back pain, frequent and urgent need to urinate, fatigue — symptoms that are easily dismissed by women and their doctors. Unlike other cancers, there are no screening tests for ovarian cancer, only symptoms.
“In addition to raising awareness, I want to raise money to be donated to two non-profit cancer organizations. The first, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) is the largest ovarian cancer research organization in the world. The second organization, Turning the Tide Ovarian Cancer Retreats, Inc., hosts ovarian cancer patients and survivors for 5-day retreats at Camp Kieve in Nobleboro.
“All the donations received through this GoFundME campaign for the Teal on Wheels Ovarian Cancer Awareness Tour will be handled by the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center, a non-profit organization in Ellsworth.
“I intend to make this ride as a solo journey, but I can’t do it alone — I need your support. For those wishing to contribute offline, please make your check out to the Beth C. Wright Cancer Center and indicate Teal on Wheels on the memo line.”
Happy birthday to Christie Lynne Staples Kennedy, Charlie Rabatin, Joanna Kohler Carter, Tory Lane, Thomas Riedel II, Ashley M. Tapley, Lori LeMoine, Sue Wheaton, Cynthia Baker, Roman Cook and Sage Dentremont. Anniversary blessings to “Sput” and Janice Staples and to Eric and Leah Staples.
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