By Abigail Urban
Have you ever spotted teal ribbons tied around trees in your local town during September? These decorations might have been placed by the Teal Tea Foundation, a foundation that raises awareness of ovarian cancer and raises money for research to find a cure.
This New Jersey-based nonprofit participates in various activities to raise awareness of ovarian cancer, such as working with the Turn the Towns Teal organization, a group that ties ribbons around trees during ovarian cancer awareness month.
“For most women, ovarian cancer just isn’t on their radars. Breast cancer is. Everyone knows about breast cancer and self-examinations.” Ex-
ecutive Director of the Teal Tea Foundation Jean Shipos said. “According to national statistics (American Cancer Society), ovarian cancer is one
of the top five causes of female deaths each year. Through our awareness efforts, we’re able to reach out to women nation-wide and share our message of awareness through distribution of free bookmarks, and/or staffing tables at public health and women’s events. If we can save the life of one woman, we’ve made a difference.”
The Teal Tea Foundation also has a program called Give Women a Lift that provides gynecological cancer patients in New Jersey and seven counties in Pennsylvania transportation to their treatment appointments, President of the Teal Foundation Janice Swierczek said.
Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer or other types of gynecological cancer are supported through the FIGHT (Friendly Inspirational Greetings and Heartfelt Thoughts) program where the Teal Tea Foundation sends cards of encouragement to a patient whose address is given by family or friends.
As for research funds, the foundation is currently offering a $20,000 research grant to a researcher working toward early detection advances for ovarian cancer patients.
In order to raise money for these services and to fund research, the Teal Tea Foundation holds two major fundraising events as well as multiple smaller events per year. One event on Sept. 16, 2018, the Tealicious Fashion Show, will be held at the Trenton Country Club and will offer lunch, door prizes and a fashion show for a $60 ticket.
“I am most proud of how the Teal Tea Foundation brings together a diverse group of women and men who devote precious resources – their time and their talents to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and to fight for a cure,” Swierczek said. “Their commitment gives me hope that we will be able to find an early detection for ovarian cancer; that we will be able to increase awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer so that more women will recognize the symptoms of ovarian cancer and get treatment.”