Happy March ladies! Today we want to talk about an important, and serious, subject. In the UK, the deadliest gynecological disease is ovarian cancer. As a London-born and based company, we’re passionate about raising our voices and creating awareness and action around issues affecting British women. But we also want to do our part to spread awareness on women’s health topics on a global scale, and ovarian cancer is a disease affecting women all over the world. That’s why this March (Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in the UK!) we’re teaming up with Ovarian Cancer Action to bring all of our readers need-to-know information, recent cutting-edge research, and inspiring survivor stories. We’ve also launched our first global fundraising campaign to help support Ovarian Cancer Action and join the fight against ovarian cancer. Together we can accomplish so much, so join us today!
Being diagnosed with a gynecological disease is scary for any woman, and when we think about the implications it can have on our reproductive life and motherhood experience, it can be even scarier. Regardless of if you’re planning for pregnancy, currently pregnant, already a mother, or not planning to have children – being aware of your gynecological health is incredibly important. To start off this month of increased awareness around ovarian cancer, we wanted to share the thought-provoking and powerful story of one of OCA’s very own ambassadors. Meet Danielle…
Danielle was just 23 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It took months of going back and forth to the hospital before finding out she had tumors on both of her ovaries and required immediate surgery.
As a new stylist in a busy salon in Reading, England, Danielle was experiencing excruciating pain in her side but battled on with her day-to-day activities. It wasn’t until her mum drove by her while she was walking down the street and saw her doubled over in pain that made her make an appointment with her GP.
Being so young, her doctors originally suspected that Danielle had appendicitis and so she was sent straight to A+E (a UK emergency department). However, a routine blood test flagged that something more serious could be at bay. It took months of visits back and forth to the hospital until she was finally diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. Danielle was told she had tumors on both of her ovaries, a diagnosis that was incredibly disheartening as she had been hoping to start a family soon.
My partner and I had been trying for a baby for a while, so I think the biggest blow was hearing that the doctors couldn’t extract eggs from my ovaries as the tumours were too aggressive. I had a normal life and had just started a new job, then suddenly I had to quickly undergo extensive surgery in October 2015. When I woke up, I was told my ovaries and fallopian tubes had been removed but I still had my womb.
All of a sudden, I was 23 and going through the menopause. Luckly, my boss has been amazing and I was able to go back to work gradually. My partner is incredible and has been my rock, I don’t know how I could have got through the last few years without him by my side. We’re hoping to be able to have a baby through IVF in 2018 and I want to share my story to encourage women at any age with symptoms that don’t feel right right, to go to their GP immediately.
– Danielle, ovarian cancer survivor
We talk about the value of listening to your body a lot at Baby2Body, and Danielle’s story takes that to a whole new level. Only you have the ability to feel and hear what is going on in your body, and when something doesn’t feel right it’s so important to listen and take action to do what is best for you. We’re keeping all of our fingers crossed for a healthy and successful IVF journey for Danielle and her partner – and we’re hoping her story inspires you to stay in touch with your body and listen to what it’s telling you.
Ovarian Cancer Action (OCA) is a UK charity dedicated to beating the sixth most common cancer in women. Their mission is to empower women, give them a voice, and create a better future for the thousands of mothers, partners, sisters, daughters, and friends affected by this deadly disease. OCA funds research that saves lives by attacking ovarian cancer at every level, they raise awareness on the importance of early diagnosis, and they campaign for change with the aim of overcoming a disease that strikes at the heart of what it means to be a woman.
If you’d like to join the fight against ovarian cancer, head on over to our fundraising page.