Thank you note from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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Thank you note from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
November 13th, 2013

Recently we got a note from Kelli Sargent, from the Community Relations & Development department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center thanking us for our donation. That note is below:

Hi Sharon
I am looking at your donation filled with absolute gratitude for al that you have done for ovarian cancer research and awareness through your golf tournament. We are incredibly grateful your support, passion, enthusiasm, and all your invaluable efforts that truly are saving lives.

We just have to get that test and generate that awareness so that we can prevent others going through what your sister, my mom, and all too many others we know suffered through.

Feel absolutely blessed for your support. We will be sure to keep you posted on any ovarian cancer developments.

Kelli Sargent
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Community Relations & Development

Kelli also said that this year's 5k Run & Friendship Walk was the best yet. "5500 people, about $900,000 raised and still counting (hoping we can get to near $950,000). KTLA Channel 5 brought a news crew and filmed live throughout the event. And for me, it was the most special run for her since I was able to share it with my Mom." said Kelli.

"The energy and spirit from everyone there was truly awe-inspiring, energizing, comforting, and so hopeful. Feeling blessed for all the people like yourself that have helped make it what it is today. And I so hope one day soon we won’t need run for her or your golf tournament because we will have a test and a cure." Kelli added.

We at the Sharon Leigh Cancer Foundation are looking forward to next year's golf tournament, we hope to raise even more money to battle ovarian cancer!

Sharon Leigh

Sharon's Blog

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The teal month of September, the pink month of October
October 16th, 2013

The teal month of September for ovarian cancer awareness is over, we're now into the pink month of October for breast cancer awareness. We're certainly aware of what these colors represent. Hope for some and sadness for others. I've been reading several personal stories on the individual roads so many women have walked, their hopes and prayers, conquering, and of course some disappointments. I have been reading about the personal scares when the CA 125 raises or pains in their bodies that can not be identified.

We have started three Facebook pages for women and men to share with each other the newest issues or symptoms, or great news they have received. Many cause us to stop think, and pray, when their reports aren't good.

My thoughts on these pages are to encourage these courageous women to open up with any and all of their pain and feelings. This is a great help for other women who might feel they are alone. Each case is individual but breast and ovarian cancer are the same in the sense we are fighting for our lives.

We have a Facebook group for men with the hopes that men will want to open up with other men on their perspective on living with a family member or being the caregiver of his family who is going through either one of these two diseases.

I'm discovering this is not easy, we need to talk to our spouses, knowing on my personal journey with ovarian cancer, my husband just didn't understand what I was going through and the worst for men is that they automatically want to fix the problem. These "problems" can't be fixed and it's frustrating. I hear from women that their husbands sometimes will say "I'm just tried of hearing about it".

Let's face it, cancer does become the "vocal" point of our lives. When my sister was in the last stages of her life, my brother-in-law asked me "what's going to happen to me now", he had spent 5 years taking care of my sister and now was on his own.

This is what prompted us to start the support page for men, I do encourage you to get your husbands involved, he needs to know other men feel just as he does.

We also have an Ovarian Cancer Survivors Facebook group for survivors of OC and for those who are currently battling this disease.

We also have an Ovarian Cancer Updates Facebook page for those that want to stay informed about the latest news on Ovarian Cancer breakthroughs and human interest stories.

Blessings to you all in Jesus name,
Sharon Leigh

Drug Patents - the long-term effect?
October 2nd, 2013

We are concerned about one aspect of the recent Myriad Genetics patent decision by the Supreme Court. Although in the short-term this will make some drugs more affordable, in the long-run this could have a very detrimental impact on the development of new drugs.

A quote from the Daily Mail Market Report sheds some light on this situation:
"Lucrative drug patents are coming to an end, which will allow rivals to make cheap generic copies of these drugs. This means the revenues the majors had previously counted on will drop to a fraction of what they were."

Keep in mind this article is a business report, not about the state of OC research, which we think might make it even more valuable in determining what may be coming soon.

Because it costs the drug companies millions of dollars to develop new drugs, without the protection that will allow them to recoup their investments, we expect they will be much more reluctant to proceed in new research.

The long-term aspects of this could be devastating. But we will never know the missed opportunities we may have had.

You can read the full article here. Then let me know what you think about this topic by emailing me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sharon Leigh

Guest post by Tarah Warren
September 19th, 2013

Tarah is undergoing chemo now and is starting a great program for other chemo patients, while she also is getting the treatments!

Life is crazy. I remember how much I missed the "crazy", busy, and even sometimes mundane life we all lead when we have our health, but now that I've been thrown back in the work world I appreciate how Cancer slows a person down and gives you perspective.

I've worked within child welfare for six years. I remember after my surgery walking the halls to recovery and seeing patients who looked like my clients, sad, poverty-stricken, and lonely. I began giving away flower arrangements sent to me, and then as I started going to chemo and noticed many others struggling not only with a terrible disease but life in general.

I started putting together Care Packs with items I found beneficial during treatment. What began as bringing 4 or 5 with me to the Cancer Center has turned into bringing 15-20, for now, each time I go to chemo. I am starting a 501c3 and it will be named Tenaciously Teal(TT), we will also provide gas cards to those traveling to chemo from rural areas, reimbursement for up to 10 grief counseling sessions for family members who lost a loved one to Cancer, and also incorporate general awareness for Ovarian Cancer.

If you have opportunity my most recent blogpost has pics and a list of the care packs contents.
- Tarah

You can read more about Tarah, her ambitious plans and even help out by clicking here.

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Wife, Mother and Daughter all died of Ovarian Cancer?
July 2nd, 2013

I just read the story on Pierce Brosnan! It would be tragic to lose your daughter to ovarian cancer but how much more so when you had already lost your wife and mother to the same disease? We must find some success in early detection soon, there are too many women dying from this disease.

You can read about Pierce Brosnan's daughter here.

Sharon Leigh

Men, how would you feel if...?
July 1st, 2013

(note: excerpts from my speech to men at the Sharon Leigh Ovarian Cancer golf tournament)
Gentlemen how do you think you might feel if your wife, daughter or mother came home with the news that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer? In the third or fourth stage?

It’s at that moment that the course & direction of our lives makes a u-turn and takes a different course, we just might lose the one we love.

First it's surgery, then chemotherapy treatments for 6 months, and then the waiting begins.

This is the hard part, every three months the cancer patient is tested using the CA 125 blood test and every three months she lives in fear of what the next reading will reveal. We think "Did my count go up? Did it stay the same or go down?" She does not want to hear it went up. That would mean the cancer has come back.

We’re always hoping we will get past that 5-year waiting period and hear the words "you are cancer free".

Ovarian Cancer is our nightmare, but there is hope, we have chemotherapies designed especially for our individual cancers. Women are now living longer and that’s a good thing.

Research into family histories has become extremely vital in saving lives. By using the genetic footprint scientists are very optimistic about the possibility of helping to find cancers before they become terminal.

Sharon Leigh

Decoding Annie Parker
June 7th, 2013

Angelina Jolie brought a lot of attention to the inherited BRCA 1 and 2 genes. Now there is a new feature film coming out about the struggle to prove that Ovarian and Breast cancer can be inherited (through that gene). This looks like it will be a remarkable movie and one we will all want to watch. Watch the preview video below ...


Read more about Decoding Annie Parker at their website.

Sharon Leigh

NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman on Ovarian Removal
May 16th, 2013

Dr. Snyderman spoke on the practice of ovary removal to prevent ovarian cancer. Angelina Jolie has recently announced that her mother died of ovarian cancer and is considering having her ovaries removed. This tragic event has brought much more awareness of the risks of ovarian cancer and the brca1 gene. Watch the video below for more info...

Hopefully the loss of Angelina Jolie's mother will encourage other women to learn more about this dreadful cancer.

Sharon Leigh

I have a friend named Connie
April 18th, 2013

I have a friend her name is Connie. Connie has been a very active member of a knitting group I started several years ago, we knit hats and scarves all year then in October we ship these around the world to underdeveloped countries.

In this group I always share the latest breakthroughs on ovarian cancer, along with emphasizing the need for getting your yearly exams.

Connie is 76 years old, she was recently diagnosed with 4th stage ovarian cancer. To make things even worse she was also diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer. These two are not related diseases. Connie most likely will not survive.

When I learned of this I immediately called her, she was of course in shock, her first words were "why didn't I listen to you". Sadly it's a little late for that.

Here is what really angered me, her Doctor told her he was sorry for not finding this two years ago. Does I'm sorry really work? The need for a complete exam was vital here, pelvic exam, pelvic ultrasound and the CA 125 blood test.

It seems that so many doctors feel, or are told to feel, that when a woman reaches 70 maybe 72 they don't require these tests any longer. I think Connie is a perfect example of the need!

Please insist on your exams, don't let your doctor tell you at your age it's not necessary. If he does tell you that, find another doctor. Even though you might think the world of your doctor you have to be your own health advocate.

May our Lord richly bless you and protect the women in your family,
Sharon Leigh

Drawing for $1000 in Gasoline
April 6th, 2013

On April 1st we held our most recent drawing for $1000 in gas gift cards! It was a very exciting event. Sylvia Dodd was the lucky winner. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more info on how you can take part in our next drawing, you could be our next winner!

Sharon Leigh

Pap Smear Test for Ovarian Cancer
January 17th, 2013

Georgios Papanikolaou, (born May 1883, died February 19, 1962) was a Greek pioneer in Cytopathology and early cancer detection. It was this man who discovered that Uterine cancer could be diagnosed by means of a vaginal smear, this discovery was made in 1928. His work was not recognized until 1943 (14 years later). Georgios was then credited with his invention of the Papanicolau test, commonly known as the Pap smear or Pap test.

Researchers are now experimenting with the Pap smear in the hopes of a breakthrough in determining Ovarian cancer in the first stages.

The testing consists of Ovarian cancer cells dropping off into the cervical canal then the use of Pap smear, Using a method similar to HPV (human papillomavirus) testing, this test looks for DNA from ovarian and endometrial cancer cells these are mutated cells.

There is a new study which may one day help to identify ovarian and uterine cancer as well, this is an ongoing study.

In the recent research testing PapGene on Pap smear samples from 22 women with ovarian cancer and 24 women with endometrial cancer. The test identified all 24 endometrial cancers, and nine out of 22 ovarian cancers.

There is hope here but the biology of ovarian cancer may not always lend itself to this type of testing. We just have to wait and see, keep on praying that this new discovery is the one we have been waiting for.
Read more about this recent finding here.

Sharon Leigh

Will Chemo Effect Your Mental Capabilities?
December 1st, 2012

When I was preparing for chemo I didn't know anything about "chemo brain" until mid to after chemo when I couldn't concentrate or remember anything and literally had to be led around and reminded what to do. This effect lasts for several months after chemo as the medications stay in your system, sometimes up to a year. If you have not heard of this before, and will be undergoing chemo treatments you will want to get prepared for this possibility.

I just found an excellent article on the effects of chemo on mental capabilities, this is called "chemo brain" and is well known by doctors. Click here to read a new study on this affect. Please read this study if you will be getting chemo treatments.
(December 11th update: Diem Brown just wrote about "chemo brain", you can read what she says here and here.)

Sharon Leigh

Three videos you should watch
November 13th, 2012

Dr. Oz has done a great job bring more attention to Ovarian Cancer. Now he has a series of three short videos that bring you the latest research on Ovarian Cancer and will give you lots to think about. Please take the few minutes necessary to watch these three videos.

Click here to watch the first video, and then here for the second, and here for the third video.

Below is another great video about Ovarian Cancer.

Sharon Leigh

One Man's Story
October 13th, 2012

We thought this was a good story about one of the effects of Ovarian Cancer. This man's story is one many men can relate to. Here is a quote from the story from

"Geoff Herald held his head in his hands and talked to the table. "She had so much cancer in her," said Danbury's decorated fire chief, the man with the suddenly trembling voice. "The doctors gave her an 8 percent chance of living out the year."

This wasn't the Lizzie who wrapped her arms around Herald for 3,400 miles on his Suzuki 850 for their honeymoon. This wasn't the Lizzie who twirled like a pinwheel in her Middle Eastern dance costume. This Lizzie was barely strong enough to breathe at Danbury Hospital. And yet, even as the fluid spilled into her lungs, she somehow managed to tell everyone she could how much she loved them.

And the whispers -- these drawn-out, deliberate gifts crossing her lips -- told you she meant it. Lizzie (Kunic) Tapester died Oct. 2 after a 16-month battle with ovarian cancer. She was just 50 years old."

You can read the rest of the story here.

Sharon Leigh

Would you spend $25 to save someone's life?
October 5th, 2012

We did. And it is a strange feeling.

Google sent us a $75 coupon for their new Google Consumer Survey so we used it on an OC survey. There is a $100 minimum so we spent $25.

We could not put in a link to our website or mention our organization because our goal for this survey was to make women more aware of the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. So we put together a survey using the questions from our less-than-2-minutes-questionnaire. We did this because of the recent, amazing findings on the results from a simple questionnaire.

Our question was: Check the box if you are currently experiencing any of these Ovarian Cancer symptoms. The multiple choice answers where:

  • adominal and/or pelvic pain
  • feeling full quickly or unable to eat
  • abdominal bloating
  • increased abdomen size
  • Are the symptoms persi­stent?
  • None of the above
You could choose more than one box. For our $25 (with the $75 coupon) we reached 200 women.

Here are the results:

  • adominal and/or pelvic pain 7
  • feeling full quickly or unable to eat 12
  • abdominal bloating 11
  • increased abdomen size 6
  • Are the symptoms persi­stent? 5
  • None of the above 175
We assume that many women clicked "None of the above" to skip the survey (it was a mandatory survey placed on various websites). But we don't know that for sure. The results could be sorted for different demographics. Upper income women and city women were either very healthy, or they skipped the survey because they had a higher ratio of "none of the above". There were less responses from women over 45 years of age, but that could be because of who was filling out the forms.

But the part we were most struck with was this idea, that we may have saved some lives with our $25 investment. Look again at the numbers in the responses above. Around 6 women checked some of the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. 5 checked that those symptoms are persistent. That means that it is quite possible that our survey will have prompted those 5 women to take their symptoms much more seriously and seek medical advice. We may have saved some lives!

Our original purpose for doing this Google Consumer Survey was to make women aware of the symptoms of OC. So we are struck by the idea that we may have also saved lives through this survey. Of course, we will never know, the survey was not linked back to us in anyway so no one taking the survey knew it came from us. But we are realizing the power in this simple survey idea.

According to our survey results, there are two women that are probably very happy they found our survey. They checked most of the symptoms and that the symptoms were persistent. So there is a 65 year old woman in Illinois and 30 year old woman in Arizona that maybe on the path to recovery right now, because of our survey.

We want to encourage every woman to take our survey, it will take you less than 2 minutes to complete, and based on the results of the published study by the Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology this tool could completely change the face of early detection for Ovarian Cancer. Take our survey in less than 2 minutes by clicking here.

Sharon Leigh

Breast Cancer Month
October 2nd, 2012

October is Breast Cancer month, we have left September which was Ovarian cancer month. These two months recognize two deadly diseases, one of which is very quiet about its invasive nature the other it seems is easily detected. Yet breast cancer does get past way too many women. There are 200,000 women each year in the United States diagnosed with Breast cancer, with an 80% survival rate. That doesn’t sound good does it? What that means is 40,000 women die each year, that is not good!

As we all know I support Ovarian cancer research, but when women die unnecessarily because of a lack of research we all suffer. I have just spent several hours researching information on Breast cancer and the relationship to Ovarian cancer. The bottom line is: the connection is genetic.

Breast cancer does not travel downward it spreads throughout the lungs and lymph nodes, Ovarian cancer does not travel upwards it will spread throughout the abdominal wall and metastasize to other organs.

Just as family history is so important to Ovarian cancer it is also just as important to Breast cancer. If you suspect you have something abnormal in your breast be prepared when you see your Doctor, with a family history of any type of cancers. Always keep this in mind; BOTH parents history are important in the proper care of any cancers along with the history of brothers, sisters, Aunts and Uncles.

Give yourself regular exams either in your shower or lying in bed. I’ll tell you how to do it. Raise your arms over your head, feel around the breast area looking for any type of a lump or hard nodule, then repeat this under your arms, making note of anything that was not there before, you want to watch those lymph nodes. Get familiar with your breasts, then squeeze the tips of your nipples if fluid secretes out tell your Doctor immediately.

Listed are other changes to look for:

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away
If you see any of these get your checkup as soon as you can, ok? Feel free to email with any questions or share your survivor stories on our web site.

Sharon Leigh

Ovarian-cancer screening surveys
October 1st, 2012

We are so excited about the new finding on how effective a simple questionnaire can be to help detect Ovarian Cancer.

We want to encourage every woman to take our survey, it will take you less than 2 minutes to complete, and based on the results of the published study by the Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology this tool could completely change the face of early detection for Ovarian Cancer. Take our survey in less than 2 minutes by clicking here.

In fact, we are so excited about this news that we purchased a Google Consumer Survey to help women become more aware of this simple questionnaire. Unfortunately Google will not allow links from their survey back to our website where the women could get more info after completing the survey, but we are happy to just be able to help more women learn about this simple tool for early detection of Ovarian Cancer.

Please let us know if you see our survey on Google.

Sharon Leigh

Ovarian-cancer screening tests do more harm than good?
September 14th, 2012

Recently there have been news stories re-reporting the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force statement that OC screening tests cause more harm than they do good. While we are very frustrated at this statement, and are concerned it will dissuade some women from getting the tests, we do realize the extremely urgent need to develop good screening tests. That is the very reason for our organization. Our cause is to help develop good methods of early detection.

To quote Cara Tenenbaum, Vice President for Policy and External Affairs at the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance "The task force’s recommendation underscores how badly we need an effective screening test for ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecologic cancer because it often isn’t detected until the disease is in an advanced state."

I found it very intere

Tuesday, December 11, 2018
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Ovarian Cancer

This year in America Ovarian cancer will strike an estimated 25,500 women, and kill more than 14,000! Ovarian cancer remains the deadliest gynecologic malignancy and the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States.

What’s the problem? There is no early detector for Ovarian Cancer!

It’s been 25 years since a test for ovarian cancer was introduced to help diagnose this disease.
Should this get your attention, YES!
Should you do something about it? Yes!

I sailed along in life eating well, working out regularly, I didn’t smoke, didn’t have a drinking problem, only the occasional glass of wine. When one day I was told you have cancer. I have what! Wake up Sharon you have ovarian cancer.

It was found in the first stage, why? the early detection exams listed below found my cancer. I grant this there was a history in my family as my sister died from ovarian cancer. My question has always been this, I was examined for eight years before this was found.

Why can’t these tests be used as a regular, early detection tool for the discovery. All of the reports indicate that there is not substantial evidence to back this up. I am not an MD I am just a person who wants to do something about women suffering and dying unnecessarily. These women are not the only ones suffering, their family members are with them every step of the journey.

1a blood test of the serum CA 125 level (CA 125 is a high level of protein in the body)

2 transvaginal ultrasonography (TVU)

3 a pelvic exam

There is a new biomarker ...that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for making a diagnosis of Ovarian cancer but only for monitoring the recurrence and progression of epithelial ovarian cancer. HE4 it will improve the ability to properly treat women in whom ovarian cancer has been diagnosed. The hope is it will be used in the future for an actual early detection in conjunction with the CA 125 serum.

Lets hope and pray that soon there will be the early detection break through we have been waiting for and end this nightmare.

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