ORANGE COUNTY – This September (National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month), teal ribbons adorn trees in towns and villages across Orange County. Spearheading the local effort are volunteers with the Corinne Feller Memorial Fund. Nicole Feller Lee, the fund’s founder, brought the national Turn The Towns Teal® campaign to the village of Montgomery in 2010. Since then, it has grown to encompass eleven municipalities.
Corinne Feller was a life-long Montgomery resident and standout student and athlete at Valley Central High school. After a 10-month battle, Corinne died of ovarian cancer at age 18. Before her passing, she voiced the need for increased awareness about the disease.
“It was so important to Corinne that women be empowered by knowing the symptoms of this disease and supported by knowing that they are not alone,” said Corinne Feller Memorial Fund Founder Nicole Feller Lee. “By tying teal ribbons and handing out awareness materials, our volunteers are doing just that. Early diagnosis is the key to survival, and we encourage anyone who is experiencing symptoms to go to the doctor and discuss their concerns openly.”
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the U.S. There is NO early detection test and the symptoms are subtle and often misdiagnosed which is why knowing the symptoms is so very, very critical. Classic symptoms of ovarian cancer are: pelvic or abdominal pain/discomfort (bloating), vague but persistent gastrointestinal upsets, frequency and/or urgency of urination, unexplained changes in bowel habits, unexplained weight gain/loss, ongoing unusual fatigue, back pain, menstrual changes, and pain during intimacy.
Local florists (listed next to each municipality) also volunteered their time to tie the ribbons into elaborate bows to make them attractive and eye-catching. Ribbons are put up just before Sept. 1 and taken down at the end of the month.
11 municipalities are taking part:
Village of Montgomery (Montgomery Florist)
Walden (Secret Garden Florist)
Maybrook (Lord’s Homestead Florist)
Goshen (James Murray Florist)
Warwick (F.H. Corwin Florist)
Village of Monroe (Flowers by David Anthony)
Harriman and Town of Monroe (Greenery Plus Florist)
Washingtonville (Catholic Daughters Court St. Ann)
Pine Bush (Hearts and Flowers Florist)
These biodegradable ribbons are to make people aware of ovarian cancer and its often silent symptoms. Volunteers will also spread the word by handing out posters and awareness cards with the symptoms of ovarian cancer to local businesses.
Since 1999, the Corinne Feller Memorial Fund has raised funding for local ovarian cancer awareness programs and quality of life initiatives, as well as research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. A survivors group has also been formed through the Corinne Feller Memorial Fund which speaks regularly to women’s groups and businesses throughout the Hudson Valley.
To learn more about the Corinne Feller Memorial Fund, visit corinnefeller.org.
Visit turnthetownsteal.org for more information on Turn The Towns Teal®.