As we near the end of September, National Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, the Ovarian Cancer Circle is kicking off its annual 5K run to raise funds for ovarian cancer research.
Like so many events this year, the run will be virtual, to observe social distancing and other safety protocols during the pandemic. But the good news is that runners all over the world can use digital tools to help raise funds and awareness, Ovarian Cancer Circle founder Paulinda Schimmel shared with members of the Ebell of Los Angeles last week.
Schimmel, who lost her daughter at the age of 20 to ovarian cancer, was speaking to fellow Ebell members about her work with the Ovarian Cancer Circle, a non-profit dedicated and committed to educating women about the signs and symptoms of this disease and how to be proactive. Because ovarian cancer is difficult to detect in the early stages, almost 80% of women are diagnosed in the advanced stages of of the disease, when prognosis is poor. Schimmel told Ebell members that when her daughter, Robin Babbini, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 16, her world was turned upside down. Unaware that this type of cancer could strike such a young woman, Schimmel said she honestly believed that if she had known more about the disease she could have saved her daughter.
The Ovarian Cancer Circle’s 5K run is one of two fundraisers the small group organizes each year. Funds raised support the work of Dr. Sanaz Memarzadeh, M.D. Ph.D., a gynecologic cancer surgeon and a clinician-scientist at UCLA who studies two epithelial gynecologic tumors, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. To support Schimmel’s work, Ebell members have organized a team to “run” in this year’s race.
Schimmel is a tireless advocate for raising awareness and was recognized last year by Councilmember Paul Koretz. Los Angeles City Hall was also illuminated last year in teal colored lights, the nationally recognized color of Ovarian Cancer Awareness.
Registration is now open for the run. The race continues Tuesday, Sept. 29th – Tuesday, October 13th. Runners can choose their own virtual course: through a park, along the shoreline, down a woodsy trail, or their home treadmill. Entrants can compete on their own, or join a team, and walk or run the 5K just once during the event dates.
“Recruit 5 people to register and you will receive a $100.00 gift certificate,” said Schimmel, who promised exciting prizes from race supporters for the 3 top winners. “It’s a great way to stay fit and healthy at a safe distance no matter where you live nationally or internationally, and you will make a difference by helping to raise life-saving medical research funds to better treat and ultimately find the cure for ovarian cancer.”
Adults can register for $30.00. Kids under 16 years register for $20.00. Visit the Ovarian Cancer Circle website for more information.