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"For about a year or so, my mother complained about bloating. She kept thinking she was gaining weight or eating wrong, and her extensive travel schedule made that a likely explanation. We had no idea that persistent bloating and stomach cramps could be signs of ovarian cancer. So one day she went to the hospital with severe stomach cramps, and was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. She fought valiantly and with a magnificent dignity, but lost the battle after sixteen months. I want to make sure one day no one has to go through what we went through. I was six months pregnant when she passed and in her I lost not only my mother but a wonderful friend and confidante. Spread the word - early detection can save lives!"

Brooklyn, NY

It all began one day while grocery shopping. Something inside of me told me to buy a pregnancy test. I had no pregnancy symptoms but something made me buy a test. You could only imagine my shock when the test came out positive. I couldn't believe I was pregnant! I immediately called my gyno and made an appointment. The test there came out positive as well but my gyno thought it was a little strange that I felt fine. After a serious of blood tests with my HCF level fluctuating they assumed I just had a miscarriage until I felt a very slight pain on my left side. I would have normally ignored the pain but since I was sitting in his office I mentioned it. I was immediately sent for a sonogram. From there they saw what they thought were cysts on my ovaries. I was then sent for an emergency CAT scan. I was told to meet my doctor at his office on Monday where I heard the dreadful words, "It may be Ovarian Cancer!" I cannot tell you what I felt at that moment because it was all a blur. I just kept thinking to myself I am 25 years old. why is this happening to me??

After meeting with several surgeons I ended up at Memorial Sloan Kettering. There I was told I would need massive surgery because I was already Stage 3!!! On December 4th I was operated on and all cancerous cells were removed. Because the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes I needed chemotherapy. My chemo treatment was very aggressive, 5 days a week every 3 weeks. If it wasn't for my family, friends and co-workers I wouldn't have made it. I am happy to say that today I am cancer free and in remission. Unfortunately Ovarian Cancer shows no symptoms. If it wasn't for the gut feeling I had I don't even want to think about where I would be today. Together we can make a difference and raise more awareness!!

Rosanna L.
Brooklyn, NY

"In 2008 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. I had every gynecological test every year. This included 2 transvaginal sono. 2 pelvic exams etc. The only thing I did not have and did not know about was CA125. I was getting stomach pains which was not unusual because I have IBS. My gastro. Dr. did a colonoscopy and I was fine. It wasn't until I blew up like a balloon and took a Ct that they found ovarian cancer with ascities fluid from my pelvis to around my lung which collapsed. My CA125 was 4,000 at that time."

Fresh Meadows, New York

"On October 24, 2011 I lost my dearest grandmother to ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed about a year ago when she was only 65. She had her surgery only 6 months ago and the surgery was success. Everything was taken out and she started on chemo. My Nana was so positive and so optimistic about everything that no matter what happened, everything was going to be okay. Soon after, she fell down the stair and went into a psychotic outbreak which put her in the hospital. The cancer had spread to her brain at this time. But she was such a fighter and stubborn woman that she didn't want anymore radiation. She refused to be sick anymore from the medication. Her family stuck by here though thick and thin. My Nana was loved by so many people and she had such a support system. We all held her hand until the end. I couldn't start to describe how much my grandmother meant to me. She was my rock, my shoulder to cry on, and the one who would run her fingers though my hair when i was sad. When I think back now, through the time she was struggling most, I held her hand and ran my fingers though her hair. Ovarian cancer is horrible but I'm so proud to say that my Nana was a fighter!"

Binghamton, NY
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