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When Ovarian Cancer Strikes

Honoring a survivor

"I am passionate about offering support to those who have been diagnosed and I am currently mentoring newly diagnosed women in the Atlanta area," says Betsy Gentry.  "I immediately asked my doctor to put me in touch with someone who had been where I was so that I could learn what to expect...and I pay that forward every chance that I can."

Besty Gentry was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 2015.  "I received the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance (GOCA) Bag of Hope soon after my diagnosis." The Bag of Hope is provided, free of charge to Georgia based, newly-diagnosed ovarian cancer patients and consists of important information about resources and fellowship as well as numerous comfort items such as a blanket, soft and warm socks, and a journal to document the journey. "I did not know anything about the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance until friends of mine participated in the Teal Trot in my honor in 2015," says Betsy. "I promised my friends that I would walk with them in the event the following year as a healthy survivor, and I did." 

Betsy's passion for GOCA is alive and well and she is a proud and active member of the survivor community here in Atlanta. "I have helped with the Lunch and Learn and Survivors Teaching Students programs as well as modeling in Teal to Heal, a survivor fashion show and fundraiser at Tootsies in Buckhead."  Betsy's story has also been included in You Have Ovarian Cancer, a collection of life-changing stories published by GOCA in 2016 as a resource for women living with the disease.  

"Every day is a gift!" exclaimed Betsy, "I am blessed with a healthy body that allows me to practice yoga, ride my Peloton, play golf and tennis. I spend time with friends and family, travel and experience life."  Besty's attitude is intoxicating and a powerful statement of self, "I am currently on a newish maintenance drug and feeling well enough to sometimes forget that I am a survivor."

The Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance was founded in 1998 by a group of thirteen ovarian cancer survivors to educate Georgia's women, their families, and healthcare providers about the risks, symptoms and treatments of ovarian cancer.  The Shaken, Not Stirred Gala, GOCA's annual fundraiser is coming up on March 14 at Georgia Aquarium and features a culinary offering from the member chefs of the Atlanta Chapter of the Les Dames d'Escoffier International.  The evening's celebration highlights the work of GOCA, salutes our survivors and their caregivers, and raises critical funds in support of GOCA's outreach programs and the Bag of Hope.