Run/walk raises funds for ovarian cancer awareness

NASHUA – More than 450 participants from throughout the state and beyond gathered in Greeley Park recently to participate in the 11th annual 5K Run/Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer.

Eric Chapdelaine won the race in 22:05. His mother, Colleen Chapdelaine, finished in 24:19 and was the female winner.

Walkers followed the same residential course as the runners or a shorter route of 2 miles. Dozens of volunteers were on hand to help with a multitude of tasks.

The event, hosted by the New Hampshire chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, based in Manchester, was a tribute to the living and to the deceased. Some in attendance lost a loved one to ovarian cancer, while others celebrated the survival of a friend, co-worker or family member.

The recognized color for ovarian cancer is teal. Some teams of runners and walkers wore matching T-shirts bearing the image of a woman taken from them by ovarian cancer. Others wore shirts heralding survivors.

The goal of the event was $80,000 for research and education to raise awareness of the disease.

Opening remarks were provided by Dr. Rachel Clark, who serves Southern New Hampshire Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess.

Regional sponsorship came from Immunogen and Tesaro. They were joined by Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, Genentech, Concord Nissan, Salem Nissan, Somersworth Nissan, Somersworth Hyundai, Peters of Nashua, St. Joseph Hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital.

The first run/walk was known as Brenda’s Walk in memory of Brenda Lindahl. It was started by her sister, Linda St. Onge, and Lindahl’s husband, Allen Lindahl.

This year marks 10 years since Brenda Lindahl died of ovarian cancer, so he decided to raise money for the NOCC by buying a $550 honey extractor for beekeepers to extract honey from the honey frames in their hives, and he sold raffle tickets throughout the summer. Lindahl requested that the winning ticket be selected at the run/walk, and he presented the NOCC with a check for the money raised, which was more than $1,200.

More than 22,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and about 15,000 women die from the disease annually. Most cases are diagnosed in their later stages, when the prognosis is poor. However, if diagnosed and treated early, survival rates are high, so it’s important that the early signs and symptoms of the disease are recognized not only by women, but also by their families and the medical community.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are many. They include bloating, trouble eating that may entail feeling too full too quickly, pelvic or abdominal pain, back pain, constipation, menstrual changes, fatigue, pain during sexual activity and feeling the need to urinate too urgently or too often.

For more information about ovarian cancer, visit www.ovarian.org/nh. For a local contact, email newhampshire@ovarian.org or call 748-9257.

To make a donation, visit www.runwalk.ovarian.org/newhampshire or mail to N.H. Chapter NOCC, P.O. Box 4285, Manchester NH 03108-4285.

Submitted by
New Hampshire chapter
of National Ovarian
Cancer Coalition