By Sean Meyer/London Community News/Twitter: Newswriter22
For Kelsey Ramsden, life was very different just a few short months ago, before she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
In fact, just two weeks ago, life was all the more different when she went through her surgery to remove the cancer. But on Sunday (May 13), the mother of three put all that behind her to celebrate Mother’s Day with participation in the 11th annual London Run for Ovarian Cancer.
Ramsden not only joined more than 1,000 people, including 650 other runners and walkers, in the event, but she helped lead the way by raising approximately $5,000 on her own. Her team, Racing Rammers, raised about $8,500.
For Ramsden, the world is a very different place since her diagnosis.
“I have a five-month-old, he was just two months old when I was diagnosed. I have two other children, five and two, and it hit me, I wouldn’t have any more babies,” Ramsden said. “It was pretty devastating. But I had a baby I could enjoy, a family to love, I feel super lucky that that it was found when it was. Fifteen years ago, I would have been a goner.”
Ramsden said her fundraising efforts, along with all the money raised by the event’s participants and supporters, is vitally important. However, the awareness of the disease is something she says makes London Run for Ovarian Cancer so important.
“Everyone being here raises awareness. Raising money is important, but I almost blew my test off. But my doctor insisted and then everything happened after that,” Ramsden said. “We need to get the message out, getting checked is so important. All these people here, their lives are affected in one way or another. That’s why I wanted to get involved, to get the word out.”
Val Morgan knows a lot about helping to spread that particular message.
Morgan, a member of the organizing committee, helped start London Run for Ovarian Cancer 11 years ago and has seen it grown steadily. Since the first year where 450 participants raised $90,000, the run has grown to where this year more than 650 runners are helping to raise an expected $160,000 in 2012.
Since the run began, over $1 million has been raised for the fight against ovarian cancer. A fight that is taking place in London as the money raised through the event stays in the Forest City through the partnerships with the London Regional Cancer Program and Western University’s gynecological division.
“This is truly a remarkable event. People get involved for so many emotional reasons. More women are facing the disease and so we have more people involved in the fight,” Morgan said. “That is a good and a bad thing of course. The good thing is we have so many people helping to raise awareness. But of course, the downside is so many women dealing with it.”
Eavan Travers is another member of the organizing committee and said the remarkable thing about this event is not only the money that has been raised, but the lives it has helped touch.
“The message needs to get out. This disease affects so many people whose lives and that is husbands, partners, sons too,” Travers said. “That’s why the importance of this event is so huge. We need to educate people to recognize the symptoms. We need them to understand the importance of getting checked out. That’s why we are all here.”
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