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Race battles the ‘silent killer’

5K run/walk aims to raise ovarian cancer awareness and support research

Ovarian cancer is particularly devastating because it often goes undiagnosed until the late stages. Many walk the Teal Ribbon in memory of loved ones.

Ovarian cancer is particularly devastating because it often goes undiagnosed until the late stages. Many walk the Teal Ribbon in memory of loved ones.

— The “silent killer” of women might not be making much noise, but a local nonprofit is making sure it’s heard of.

The 12th Annual Teal Ribbon Run/Walk, coordinated by Caring Together, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 15, and kicks off at 9 a.m. at Washington Park in Albany. The event aims to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and raise funds to support research to developing an early detection test, along with more effective treatments for women with recurrent ovarian cancer.

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The annual Teal Ribbon Run/Walk has grown from a small group of participants to more than 1,000 people, according to race organizers.

Caring Together President Mary Davis said education awareness is the “best line of defense” against ovarian cancer. Davis is also a survivor of ovarian cancer after being diagnosed 15 years ago.

“If you don’t know much about the disease it is an opportunity to learn and there is an awareness table there staffed by survivors. It is chance to talk to somebody that is well versed in it,” Davis said. “It is a chance to talk a walk in a beautiful park, or if you are a runner it is a sanctioned 5K.”

Race Director Pam Robbins said there is no effective screening tool for ovarian cancer, which leads it to be among the most deadly cancers.

“We are really focused on the fact there is no screening tool … so they need more research dollars,” Robbins said. “What we do with our money from the Walk/Run is we donate that almost exclusively to a couple of large research grant organizations.”

Caring Together also partnered with St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation, Albany Medical Center Foundation and CR Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital to provide financial assistance to Capital District women that are either uninsured or underinsured and have a high risk for ovarian cancer, or have symptoms of it.

The group is also in talks to expand the program to other area hospitals. Women must qualify for the program by meeting income and resource requirements.

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