Originally posted on the Sharon Leigh Ovarian Cancer Foundation website.

Why I created this foundation and website is relatively simple to put into words, the real issue is not so simple. I want to help save women's lives through education...

That sounds uncomplicated with a very big exception... it's not!

I have found that reeducating women is not that easy. We still think that our doctors are infallible, we think what he or she says is gold. After all they are the educated ones with medical degrees.

There have been times when women have approached me with this comment:
"Why didn't I listen to you?"

There is not a lot you can say when the damage is done, ovarian cancer has hit the unexpected target, and the fight for life has begun. My personal fight began when my sister died from Ovarian cancer, then I was diagnosed with the same cancer. I fortunately had listened when my sister advised me to get three tests she had not heard of. I did as she suggested. When I was diagnosed my cancer was in Stage 1. It is very rare to find ovarian cancer in the earliest of stages.

Judy advised me to get three specific tests which I had never heard of.

I followed her advice about early ovarian cancer detection for eight years. For eight years I was tested and was found to be cancer free. Until one day in April of 2004, my gynecologist said he saw something through a pelvic ultrasound, during my ovarian cancer detection checkup, on my right ovary and wanted to get a better look. I was diagnosed with 1st. Stage Ovarian cancer.

This type of a discovery is almost unheard of as ovarian cancer is usually found in the 3rd. Or 4th stage (114).

My sister died from this terrible disease, it was because of her warnings that I am alive today to tell my story , to fight for early detection and to raise funds for the research needed to save the lives of women all over the world. I do not believe that we women should be given a death sentence because of a lack of the ability to detect ovarian cancer in the first stages.

There have been so many breakthrough’s with early detection of Breast cancer that I feel we are close but are still struggling to find that one crucial test/biomarker.

In America in the year 2009, 21,500 women were diagnosed with Ovarian cancer 14,600 that’s 75% of the women died.

The tests you should be asking for are these:
1. Pelvic exam
2. Pelvic ultra sound
3. CA 125 blood test
Never get these test alone always these three tests together. False readings do occur.

Side note: ask your doctor what the reading is on the CA 125, don't be left in the dark regarding the number this will keep you advised on your health. Anything over 35 is dangerous. This alone can be a false reading, that's why you have to be aware and knowledgeable.

Our foundation continues to grow, we have had three successful golf tournaments raising approximately $140,000. (Note: total life time amount raised about $200,000) We have scheduled a Fashion/Luncheon soon with guest speakers, again with the purpose of education. Our goal is to have two to three of these luncheons per year along with the golf tournament.

Sharon Leigh