McCort Students Will Again “Turn the Towns Teal®” to Educate the Public About Ovarian Cancer

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From Bishop McCort Catholic High School

For the ninth year, teal ribbons will be seen during September as Bishop
McCort Catholic High School students along with faculty and volunteers, fasten bows on trees to support Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. They will be joining volunteers throughout all 50 states, Canada and Bermuda, who Turn the Towns Teal®.

Students will begin tying ribbons on August 31 starting at 2:30 p.m. at the high school and then will continue into downtown Johnstown. Folks traveling by Johnstown’s Central and Roxbury Parks and driving along the city’s main
thoroughfares, through Richland Township and Ferndale, Westmont, and Southmont boroughs, are likely to see hundreds of bows displayed bringing awareness to the silent symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Once again, the campaign will also include the East and West campuses of Divine Mercy Catholic Academy, local businesses and Somerset County locations where you will see teal ribbons waving in Windber and Somerset boroughs. Ebensburg along High Street near the Courthouse will sport teal ribbons for the sixth
year.

Thanks to the generosity of the Ann Harris Smith Foundation as well as support from local municipalities, Bishop McCort students along with dedicated volunteers will be spreading the word that the “earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis.”

Every year BMCHS students, staff and alumni support projects that promote community involvement. Since 2013, one of those projects has been to join the Turn the Towns Teal® national campaign promoting awareness of ovarian cancer and its subtle symptoms.

Because there is no early detection test for ovarian cancer, it is imperative that women be aware of the symptoms of the disease. Disseminating this information is vital because if detected early, five-year survival rates for localized ovarian cancer are
more than 90%.

Not nearly as common as breast cancer, ovarian cancer still effects about one in 78 women. Ovarian cancer affects women in developing and developed countries similarly so it is important for them to be aware of the symptoms, risk factors and family history.

Following are the symptoms to remember. If any persist for more than two weeks, you should contact your physician.

• Persistent pelvic and stomach pain,
• Increased abdominal size/persistent bloating,
• Ongoing unusual fatigue,
• Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and
• Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often.

“Public awareness of these symptoms can help save lives,” says Tom Smith, BMCHS Principal and CAO. “Our students have been involved with spreading the word about ovarian cancer for many years and Bishop McCort certainly appreciates the Ann Harris Smith Foundation sponsoring our involvement with this initiative.”

The Ann Harris Smith Foundation’s contributions to the fight against Ovarian Cancer began in 2000, when Ann Smith was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer. Shortly after her diagnosis, Ann and her family organized the first Laurel Auto Group Pro-Am Charity Golf Classic to help raise awareness about ovarian cancer. Ann lost her fight against this silent disease in 2002, but her commitment to helping
others to learn about ovarian cancer is stronger than ever. In 2010, BMCHS started its partnership with the Ann Harris Smith Foundation to help educate its students and the local community about ovarian cancer and continue to bring Ann’s vision to life.

More information about ovarian cancer and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month can be found at http://www.ovarian.org, http://www.ovariancancer.org, and http://www.turnthetownsteal.org.