By Kandis Draw
On May 18, 2019 1,500 people gathered across the parking lot of the United Center. The beautiful sun piercing the sky, volunteers from all over the tri state area, gathered for one reason.
What is the significance of the color Teal? Ovarian Cancer. Everyone you came into contact with had a connection to Ovarian Cancer. The spirit was amazing, and contagious. From the moment you walked onto the lot, the United Centermonitors showed many years of memories and many faces of those who had a connection to this disease. So many vendors came out to support! Paul Mitchell, City Barbecue, and our longtime sponsors and national sponsors Wylers and Weiman were in attendance. There were representatives from the Blackhawks, along with Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
Then came the opening ceremonies. Three women varying in age gave their personal testimonies about surviving, being a caregiver, and losing a loved one. As you listened, and closely observed the crowd, there were tears, hugs, high fives, and smiles. There were even some who held hands, together in strength and unity, believing and trusting for a cure. As the tears flowed, and the opening ceremonies continued, there was a calmness across the crowd of survivors. Those watching, surrounded those brave women and united for strength and support, understanding that each journey was different, but still difficult. As the speakers ended and we walked towards the starting line, the music blasting in the background, thus began the start of the walk. As you looked out among the crowd, you saw people carrying flags one of three colors: white, teal, and lavender.
The white, representing those that were lost to the disease, the Teal which represented those who are still battling, and Lavender which represented caregivers and loved ones of those still living. Some people carried all three, and off we went under the arch. As the walk ended, and we gathered back onto the lot for the closing ceremonies, this marked the end of the 22nd Annual Walk for Ovarian Cancer. A long line emerged from City Barbeque for the delicious food and lemonade that was being given out to everyone. A sense of accomplishment was felt, many lives touched, and no matter what any person there was facing individually, we all persevered off the strength of each other. Through our sponsors, and Individual Teams, we were able to raise more than $250,000 dollars! For more than 25 years, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition has spread awareness, given research, and improved the quality of life for those battling this illness.
Our slogan, “Together we are strong, and will never back down. “represents the millions of women, and their families who are not only in Chicago, but around the world who are fighting tirelessly for a cure. May we stand with them, support them, and cherish them.
Photo credit: Michael Mantucca
7.13.19 – 3rd Annual Fitness Crawl
7.20.19 – Schaumburg Boomers NOCC Night Fundraiser
9.13.19 – Teal Lights Celebration Cruise
9.21 & 9.22.19 – City BBQ Fundraiser (All IL & IN locations!)