Brooklynites raise awareness of ovarian cancer with virtual TEAL Walk

Brooklynites walked the borough in small groups to spread the word about ovarian cancer on Sept. 12.
Photo by Paul Frangipane

Ovarian cancer survivors took to the streets of Brooklyn this weekend for the annual walk organized by the nonprofit TEAL, which was reimagined this year as a virtual event to adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

Falling in the middle of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, the 12th annual Brooklyn event saw small groups flocking to various areas around the borough and capturing their experience with pictures and videos — all while bringing attention to the disease, which affects over 20,000 women in the United States each year. 

Yolande Cadore, a 68-year-old Crown Heights resident, walked with her daughter and five grandchildren on Saturday in memory of her mother, who died from ovarian cancer in 2011 at the age of 85. Cadore’s mother was diagnosed too late to be treated and died three weeks after her diagnosis.

teal walk
Smaller groups gathered than usual to adhere to social distancing guidelines.Photo by Paul Frangipane

“I was very hurt because she was 85 years old and at that age, they’re always in the doctor’s office, so I couldn’t understand why she’s always in the doctor’s office and they couldn’t diagnose,” she said. “A lot of people are not aware about this ovarian cancer.”

Cadore was elected chairwoman of the TEAL committee at her local Lions Club in Crown Heights, where she works to spread awareness about the disease and raise funds towards research.

There is currently no diagnostic test for ovarian cancer, and the symptoms are often vague and hard to detect — making it difficult to diagnose, she said. 

“I really wish they could come up with some kind of test to diagnose when someone has ovarian cancer,” said Cadore. “Hopefully soon, with all the research they’re doing, I hope so — to save lives.” 

Over 15,000 people have participated in the TEAL walk in years past, with the first annual walk taking place in Kings County in 2009. Over $1.9 million has been raised for research and awareness programs through the walk. 

Those interested in TEAL (formally known as the Tell Every Amazing Lady About Ovarian Cancer Louisa M. McGregor Ovarian Cancer Foundation) can head to www.tealwalk.org to learn about more upcoming events, and donate to support the organization.