Turn the Town Teal downtown Youngstown to draw attention to ovarian cancer

By William K. Alcorn



Rose Mary Flanagan Ovarian Cancer Foundation will join others across the country Saturday in kicking off the national Ovarian Cancer Awareness campaign, Turn the Town Teal, by tying teal-colored ribbons throughout downtown Youngstown.

Foundation members invited volunteers to join them at 10 a.m. at Market and Federal streets to help tie the teal ribbons or just show support, said Erin Flanagan of Boardman.

There will also be yard signs placed and a big sign at Wick Avenue and Federal Street to raise awareness. On Saturday morning, the foundation will set up at the corner of Federal and Market in front of First National Bank and offer bagels and coffee, Flanagan said.

Erin is the daughter of Rose Mary Flanagan of Lake Milton and Tequesta, Fla., whose dream it was to get the Rose Mary Flanagan Ovarian Cancer Foundation off the ground.

The foundation has applied for nonprofit status, but sadly, Rosemary, who was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer in 2008, died July 8, and did not live to see that happen.

“It’s amazing how many people don’t know about ovarian cancer,” Erin Flanagan said. “One of the problems is that there is no test for early detection, and it is usually not diagnosed until the later stages.” She added she also wants to organize an ovarian cancer support group.

A woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer every 37 minutes. It is the deadliest of all gynecologic cancers, and the fifth-leading cause of cancer death among women, according to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and teal is the color for ovarian cancer awareness. More than 20,000 women and men are expected to participate by wearing teal next Friday in a show of support.

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