Walking for honor and awareness
For women, screenings such as mammograms to test for breast cancer and Pap smears to test for cervical cancer have become routine checkups to help ensure the early detection of cancer unique to women. However, even with these precautionary tests, there is still one cancer that often goes undiagnosed in women.
Dubbed the "silent killer" by the National Women's Health Network, ovarian cancer causes more deaths each year than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, according to the CDC.
Diane Cain-Pozzo, who was born in Forest Grove in 1950 and spent her upbringing and adulthood in Washington County, spent two years without her ovarian cancer getting diagnosed.
After two years of unusual physical ailments, in 2015, Cain-Pozzo visited OHSU and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Two years after Cain-Pozzo's diagnosis, her daughter, Angie Cain, realized that her mother was not going to beat the disease.
Cain decided to talk to her mother about things she'd like to do before she passed away.
"I'd really like to do a walk," Cain said to her mother, "in honor of you and give back to OHSU for everything they've done for our family."
Last year, the family, led by Cain, organized the Ovarian Cancer Walk in September, the official month of ovarian cancer awareness.
At the time, however, Cain-Pozzo's health was deteriorating. The family considered canceling the walk.
Cain remembers her mother telling her to continue with the walk, saying, "I just want early detection, because right now there is no detection, and I want a cure, so no matter what happens to me, I want this walk to happen."
The family continued on with the walk and was able to raise $35,000 to donate to OHSU.
Cain said her mother attended, riding in a golf cart alongside family members, neighbors and doctors from her team.
"It was amazing for my mom, because not only were they there to treat her, but they were actually being supportive as well — which, for my mom, was huge," Cain said. "It meant the world to her."
Diane Cain-Pozzo passed away this February after four long years of fighting. However, for her family, the battle against ovarian cancer isn't over.
This year, the Ovarian Cancer Walk will have its second annual walk this September, with the goal of raising $50,000 to honor Cain-Pozzo and to continue donating to OHSU and the search for early detection testing for ovarian cancer.
The Ovarian Cancer Walk is to take place on Sunday, Sept. 29, from 9 to 11 a.m., starting at Sherwood High School, 16956 S.W. Meinecke Road in Sherwood. Visit go-teal.com for more information on how to register and donate.
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