National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Illinois Chapter's 18th Annual Run/Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer - Caring, Sharing, Remembering


Off we go

May 2, 2015 was the fourth time that I participated in the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Illinois Chapter's Annual Run/Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer. Luckily, it was actually a warm and beautiful day (hard to believe).  When I arrived at US Cellular Field, where it was held, there were booths and people everywhere.  Teams could be seen in a variety of attire, objects, signs, hats and so on.  Teams walked in support and in memory.  I was there to remember my mother.  I walked with Robin Kuss, who is a survivor that I met last year.  It was pleasant walking and talking and being part of the 2600 attendees.


Élan Dance Company begin the program - photo: Karen Young

Each year has been a slightly different experience since the location, route, and entertainment and booths vary.  I am not part of a team; so I usually stand near the stage, enjoy the entertainment and the warm-up and then, the walk.  Waiting for things to begin, I chatted with a woman nearby who happened to be the mother of one of the dancers. The dance group was the Élan Dance Company located at the Naperville Park District. I love dance and found these young dancers a delight to watch. Learn more on the Élan website.


Élan Dance Company - a dance for the survivors

Announcements about groups and individuals who raised the most money and at the end of these announcements a surprise survivor appeared from a long distance. This was a very dramatic moment.  Contributions are still being taken on the website until the end of May at NOCC Illinois website


The survivors (facebook)

Another dramatic moment is when the survivors fill the stage.  There were 100 survivors present.  As they were escorted from the stage, runners began to line up because they complete their run before the walkers begin.  Soon Robin and I lined up to walk and found ourselves in the midst of a throng of people in every direction.


Robin Kuss

The walk was three miles in and around through the stadium with terrific views of the city as we approached the finish line.  We felt pleased with our accomplishment, having completed the route.


Rounding the bend around the stadium


Beginning the walk

I have been very pleased each year to see the way in which NOCC has moved closer and closer to goal that my sister, brother and I had wished for shortly after our mother passed away.  We felt that outreach and education were vital and that aspect keeps growing.  We also were hoping that research would lead the way to better diagnosis and treatment.  So it was good to hear an announcement about current research, and to read about it.


The city comes into view


Rounding the bend around the stadium

“In collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer, and in partnership with OCNA and OCRF, the NOCC is committed to helping fund the NEW Ovarian Cancer Dream Team. The first of its kind in the history of ovarian cancer research, the Ovarian Cancer Dream Team will assemble the best and brightest scientists, researchers, and medical experts, world-wide, to create an inter-disciplinary team that can accelerate the pace of groundbreaking translational research, get new therapies to patients quickly, and save lives now. We are thrilled to be part of this landmark research venture! We encourage you to please donate to NOCC to support RESEARCH • IN • ACTION, and the promise of leading-edge, ovarian cancer research! “ Learn more 


Adding a survivor handprint - photo: Karen Young

Watch for more NOCC fun fund raising events throughout the year, including:

  • Back by popular demand will be the Teal Lights Celebration Cruise on Wendell's "Lila" on Friday, Sept. 18th - contact office for details and ticket info.
  • If you'd like to join Team TEAL and run the Chicago half Marathon, contact the IL Chapter office. Registration should begin June 1, 2015. Race to be held along the lake on Sunday Sept. 27th.
  • Take your family out to see the Kane County Cougars vs. the Dragons on Sunday June 7th - cancer awareness day. $6 of every ticket sold will go to NOCC. Highlights of the day include free food for kids, pre-game autograph session, and you can stop by and pick up awareness materials from the NOCC booth too! Help raise some money for NOCC and Team TEAL! Order your tickets at and use code "NOCC" and $6 of every ticket will go to the Illinois chapter. Note: Doors open at noon and game is at one!


Photos: Robin Kuss unless otherwise designated.


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