My daughter Jane has gone many extra miles, figuratively and literally, to raise awareness and funds for research into low grade serous ovarian carcinoma since she was diagnosed with the disease in 2017.
When she came across the Kilt Walk she encouraged other women with the disease and their supporters in the UK to take part, decided she needed to lead by example and asked me to join her.
After she was diagnosed I said I’d do anything I could to help her. I hadn’t anticipated that meant walking up Dunedin’s Signal Hill three times in a morning, but that’s what we did.
She chose the hill because of its link to Scotland through the rock from Edinburgh Castle at the top.
All the funds raised went towards the research being done by Professor Charlie Gourley at Edinburgh University through Cure Our Ovarian Cancer. and were matched pound for pound by philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter.
Jane and I appear, briefly, in the video at 3:17 with Stella the chocolate lab who accompanied us.
Among the advocacy work Jane is doing, is a petition to improve outcomes for women with ovarian cancer.
It is urging the government to support the development of ovarian cancer awareness/education campaigns for the public and health professionals; ensure women with OC symptoms have timely access to testing; improve access to approved therapies and clinical trials; and dedicate funding to ovarian cancer research.
Every week four New Zealand are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, every week two New Zealand women die from it. That is more women dying of this disease than are killed on the roads each year.
These dreadful statistics aren’t peculiar to New Zealand. All over the world many women are diagnosed late because they, and too many doctors, don’t have sufficient awareness of the disease; there isn’t enough access to tests and approved treatments and there is too little research.
The action the petition is urging will save lives.
It is non-partisan and has the support of Cure Our Ovarian Cancer, Ovarian Cancer New Zealand, Talk Peach and the NZ Gynaecological Cancer Foundation.
Please sign it here and encourage others to sign too.
You don’t have to be in New Zealand or even be a New Zealand to sign. Better awareness, treatment and research anywhere will help women everywhere.