The Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance (GOCA) began its annual fundraising walk in 2002 and over the years it has been held at various locations across metro Atlanta. In its inaugural year, the GOCA Walk was held at Centennial Park and has had many celebrated walk routes since then. Regardless of its location, the GOCA Walk, rebranded as the “Teal Trot” in 2014, has always been a hallmark fundraising, advocacy, and community empowerment event for GOCA and the ovarian cancer community. This year’s Teal Trot is being held at Chastain Park on September 18.
Chris Waken of Alpharetta, who lost his beloved wife Pam earlier this year will be walking in her memory. “I realized that the Teal Trot might have been Pam’s first GOCA event. I felt compelled to sign up,” says Chris. “It is going to be my way to honor her. A way for me to carry the torch and to help others by raising money for awareness.” Throughout their marriage Chris and Pam always enjoyed walking and running together. One such walk literally lead them to the edge of the world: the Camino de Santiago to Finisterre, Spain, where Pam tied a teal scarf in memory of those lost to ovarian cancer.
Teal is the color associated with the ovarian cancer community, and Chastain Park will be a sea of teal on September 18. There will be teal t-shirts sporting team names and walkers adorned with feather boas, sashes, banners, balloons, streamers and tiaras.
“Looking back,” says Chris, “ovarian cancer gave us a different lens to see the world. We refocused our energies on each other, shared more, and strengthened our relationship and our faith.”
It is clear that for Chris and Pam, each day was a gift. “As caregivers, we are blessed to be with that person we are walking with on the journey.”
The Teal Trot is designed for walkers and runners at various paces. Whether you enjoy a casual walk or a competitive race, this survivor-forward event is intended to gather us in remembrance of those who are no longer with us, and also to honor and recognize women, their families, caregivers, and all who have all been affected by ovarian cancer.
“Supporting others was a major part of her healing process, and with her ‘each day is a gift’ attitude, Pam was always able to encourage others while it was still today,” says Chris. “We recognized that there is always hope and that good can come from challenges and offering hope to others.”
Throughout its history the Teal Trot, Georgia’s largest ovarian cancer awareness event, has had over 25,000 participants and has raised $1.7 million dollars in support of the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance’s mission of education and awareness throughout Georgia.
So, join Chris Waken and all the teams and participants at this year’s Teal Trot. Get your “createal” juices flowing and sign up to participate, join a team, or even create a team of your own to personalize your fundraising efforts!
For more information about the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance or the Teal Trot please visit GAOvarianCancer.org