When my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in November of 2010, I simply remember being shocked. I could not understand how my Mom, who seemed to be the picture of health, could have cancer. Her symptoms seemed so minor at the time - these surely could not be indicative of a late stage ovarian cancer, but in fact they were. If only we had known what the symptoms meant, maybe we could have made my Mom's journey much easier. My Mom immediately underwent a large surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Next, she went through extensive chemotherapy at MD Anderson in Orlando, FL. The treatment involved two different chemo sites, one in her stomach and one in her chest. The treatment is so grueling, many of the patients cannot even complete it. But not my Mom! She is the toughest woman I know. She made it through with flying colors and is back to her daily work, teaching elementary school music, being one of LSU softball's biggest fans and enjoying being a new Grandma! I'm so proud of her strength and courage and it motivates me daily. It is the driving force behind my goal to spread awareness to women of all ages about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. It started with a small group. I knew I coached 20 women per year and I could surely teach those girls about this disease, but it has spread into something I could have only imagined. The birth of Geaux Teal has been life changing for me. I have met so many strong women and family members who have been affected by this disease and have formed wonderful relationships with many of them. I am so happy that Geaux Teal was formed to give these people a voice, to provide them support, to honor those who have fought this disease and ultimately to try to save lives. All of these people hold such a special place in my heart and truly make me understand that everything does happen for a reason. I'm so proud to have even a small part of such a wonderfully powerful group, Geaux Teal.
I have been an Oncology Social Worker at Woman’s Hospital for over 25 years. During that time I have worked with and supported many women when they get a late stage diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer. It is a long, hard journey for all who love and care for them.
As an advocate for women with ovarian cancer, it is important for me to educate, support and encourage all women to know their body and how it functions. You know yourself and your body better than anyone so when you know something isn’t right, keep seeking the answers.
We hope that by continuing to share these stories we can increase awareness for all women and thereby diagnose Ovarian Cancer in the early stages. By doing so, we hope to increase the number of long-term survivors in our community.
GeauxTeal has become an integral part of our local community in providing education, support and financial resources to help women who are both fighting and living with ovarian cancer. I am proud to be a member of the Ovarian Cancer Awareness planning committee as we continue to impact the quality of life for ovarian cancer survivors.