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This fall, I will be running to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. I am participating in the 2011 Detroit Free Press Half Marathon Relay with my mom, dad, and two sisters. I will be running in memory of my good friend, Jackie Bayley, and my Grandmother, Dolores Meitz.

My friend Jackie passed away on August 27, 2011 at the age of 34 after courageously battling ovarian cancer since April, 2009. I will always remember and admire Jackie's strength, ambition, drive, humor and kindness and am truly inspired by the mental and physical courage she demonstrated during her battle with ovarian cancer. Anyone who ever knew or met Jackie knows what a force she was and, most importantly, will continue to be in the memories and hearts of her friends and family.

My Grandma Meitz lost her battle to Ovarian Cancer a few months before my first birthday. The sadness I feel from never knowing my grandmother and not having any memories of her will always be with me. From other members of my family, I know she was a wonderful and loving mother, sister, wife, and educator.

I am honored to raise funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund on behalf of these two amazing women. Please consider donating whatever you can to my efforts - every little bit counts. There is a dire need for ovarian cancer research, as Jackie herself stated in an email from 2009:

"As I learn more about this disease, I am frightfully concerned about how little research (particularly diagnostic research) is available. Ovarian Cancer is called the silent killer because (as with my case) it comes with few or no symptoms by the time the patient has reached stage 3 or 4 and the cancer has spread throughout the body (as it did to a number of my organs in the abdomen)....Your efforts, and those that will surely follow due to your caring organization from many of our friends, acquaintances, family, co-workers and still-strangers can only help the next 31 year old girl who didn't know anything was wrong.”

This is the second time I've run to raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. In 2009, my fundraising goal was $1,000 and I raised $1,200. With Jackie's recent passing, I feel I can and must work harder to raise more. Before the end of 2011, I aim to raise an additional $1,800. If I accomplish this, I'll have raised $3,000 for ovarian cancer research. Other friends and family members of Jackie are also raising money, you can keep track of how much we've raised as a team here: http://enduring4ovariancancer.blogspot.com/.

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    The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund supports medical research to find a method of early detection and ultimately a cure for ovarian cancer.
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