Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cancer Warriors - The Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry

There are some clubs you prefer not to be a member of. But membership can have its privilege - the privilege to give back as with the The Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

 Established in 1981 by Dr. M. Steven Piver, the registry collects data, detailed history and pathological samples from families with two or more cases of ovarian cancer. This data is used for research to identify genes and characterize risk factors with the goal of finding better tests for detection and screening and ultimately - prevention of this deadly disease.

Searching for answers after his wife's Gilda Radner's death, Gene Wilder, began corresponding with  Dr. Piver. In 1990, the registry was named after Gilda, who died from ovarian cancer at age 43. Gilda's story is the story of so many women and the "disease that whispers" - symptoms of fatigue, bloating and cramping - doctors who for ten months told her she was nervous and emotional - who did not ask about her family history - including her grandmother, cousin and aunt, who all died of ovarian cancer.

For families who have seen sisters, aunts, mothers and cousins struggle and fight ovarian cancer, what better way is there to honor them then to give of yourself right in the hands of researchers who are going to answer the questions - why and how can we benefit the next generation?

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