Today we have a special story from two sisters who are honoring their mom after loosing her to ovarian cancer 15 years ago. Read their story below, and show them some Teal Diva love! Thank you Melissa & Rebecca for sharing your story!
We are Melissa and Rebecca Carle from Galloway, NJ, and Baltimore, MD. We lost our mother to ovarian cancer when Melissa was just 15 years old and Rebecca was 17; April 11, 2024 marks 15 years that she will have been gone. So to honor her, we are going to be participating in 15 5Ks across the country between now and April of next year. Although we may not be able to attend all of them in person, we would like to support a variety of organizations, and we’re excited that yours is one of them! We will be (virtually) participating in the Teal Diva 5K on May 6 as Team Donna.
Our goal is to raise $15,000 throughout these events ($1,000 per race), for the 15 years she will be gone. We have a website where we will be tracking our progress with our fundraising pages linked as well. We are going to be calling on our friends and family to support us along the way, either by joining the races with us, or donating (or both)!
When our mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer she was only 42 (back in 2007). We had no idea what ovarian cancer was until this experience; there was no family history or anything like that. Our parents learned more and kept a lot of it to themselves at the time because we were so young and they didn't want to scare us (we also have a younger brother). With that knowledge, they decided to get her tested for the BRCA gene mutations, which would help us in the future to know our risk of developing this disease ourselves. It turns out she had inherited the BRCA1 gene mutation from her father, which not many people realize could be passed down from a male. She was the type of person who always put everyone else, especially her children, before herself, so it was hard for her to take a step back when she was sick. She always enjoyed coming to all of our sporting events, class trips, etc. because she was such an involved mom. She fought this disease for about two years and passed away just 4 days before her 45th birthday. Her legacy still lives on through her three kids and we still hear so many amazing stories about her until this day. She was taken way too soon and we had to get through pretty crucial parts of our lives without her. We're doing this not only to raise awareness and help fund research for this disease to try and help other families but also to ensure she lives on because she was too good to be forgotten.
Here is our current race schedule:
1: 4/22/23 – Philadelphia, PA – Sandy Sprint ✓
2: 5/6/23 – Charlotte, NC (Virtual) – Teal Diva 5K
3: 5/13/23 – Birmingham, AL (Virtual) – 20th Annual Motherwalk
4: 5/20/23 – Minoa, NY (Virtual) – Teal Ribbon Run/Walk
5: 6/3/23 – Wauwatosa, WI (Virtual)- Ray of Hope Run
6: 6/10/23 – Denver, CO – Jodi’s Race for Awareness
7: 7/4/23 – Marcellus, NY (Virtual) – Teal There’s A Cure 5K
8: 7/22/23 – Sea Isle City, NJ – Sandy Sprint
9: 8/5/23 – Cleveland, OH – OutRun Ovarian Cancer
With that being said, we’re always looking for opportunities to get the word out and make new connections through the ovarian cancer community. Unfortunately, we found out our mom carried the BRCA1 gene mutation, and Rebecca was tested and also has it, so we are very much still affected by the disease today through both the loss and the genetics. Please feel free to follow our journey either by signing up for updates through the website or Melissa’s public Instagram page @simplymisunderstoodxo.
We are excited to try and shed a light on ovarian cancer, as we did not know anything about it until our mom was diagnosed, as well as keep her alive in spirit no matter how long it’s been. #TEALTheresAcure