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Turning town teal yields survivor stories

Teal ribbons were tied along Wayne Road and Ford Road bringing awareness to ovarian cancer.

By Carolyn Marnon – For the 7th year, Wayne will be turning teal with ribbons raising awareness of ovarian cancer. The teal ribbons will be placed throughout the city on September 1 by employees and friends of Independent Carpet One in Westland. Cathy Buchanan, co-owner, has spearheaded this local event during National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month to help spread information about this disease that has no early detection test. If detected in the early stages, the survival rate for ovarian cancer is 90-95%.
“I know it has made impact on a number of people’s lives” says Cathy, “as I have had contact with and made friends with families who have lost someone to ovarian cancer. Chris Siese from Wayne is doing well after losing his wife Annette two and a half years ago.” (Annette’s story was featured in The Wayne Dispatch in September 2017.) Kathy Graham has lost a family member to ovarian cancer and struggling herself as a breast cancer survivor. And we constantly, year after year, talk to people along our route of tying ribbons, about why we are doing this and explaining the symptoms and also hearing stories from people who stop us about members of their family.”
“But two months ago while loading my trunk with purchases from Home Goods on Ford Rd in Canton,” continues Cathy, “I was stopped by a lady getting in her car. She had seen my license plate that says Carpet One on the front of my car. She came running saying, ‘Carpet One lady please stop. Carpet One lady!’ I chuckled to myself and stopped and said, ‘hello can I help you?’ She said, ‘Oh no, I want to come out and give you a hug and say thank you.’ I looked at her puzzled a bit because I had never met this lovely lady. She began to tell me, ‘I just got off the phone with my sister, and I was telling her that I saw the carpet lady in the parking lot. You know the one who ties the teal ribbons along Ford and Wayne Rd. She’s here. My sister told me to tell you thank you. She is an ovarian cancer survivor. We’ve seen you and your team tying the ribbons year after year and we’ve wanted to say thank you so many times. It means so much to us. We love to see these ribbons. We love Independent Carpet One.’ Tears rolled down my face and we had the best hug.”
“And that moment made everything reality of why we do this. It’s making a difference. It’s touching lives. When people think they’re all alone in this struggle, they realize they’re not alone and people care. We do care, and we will do this year after year even if it makes one person realize that their life matters to us. Because it does.”
www.turnthetownsteal.org informs site visitors of potential symptoms of ovarian cancer which include:
• Bloating
• Pelvic or abdominal pain
• Vague but persistent gastrointestinal upsets such as gas, nausea, or indigestion
• Difficulty eating OR feeling full quickly
• Urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency)
• Unexplained changes in bowel habits
• Unexplained weight gain/loss
• Ongoing unusual fatigue
• Back pain
• Menstrual changes
• Pain during intimacy

If these systems persist for 10 days to 2 weeks, you are advised to consult your gynecologist, physician or a gynecological oncologist. As the website tagline says “The earlier the diagnosis-the better the prognosis.”

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