Local campaigners cheer network joint venture

September 5, 2008

"Marple Township, Haverford Township, the whole Jersey shore..." Robin Cohen, of the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation ticks off some of the 40 communities decked out with teal ribbons.

This is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. It's the cancer that is often caught too late.

Terry Long, a 12-year survivor, told Action News, "Hopefully in time, we'll have a blood test to help determine if a woman is a candidate but until that time, it's all about awareness."

48-year-old Michael Picarella of Exton, Pennsylvania, is also raising awareness and money for research. 4 years ago, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma hit him with blinding speed.

Michael remembers, "I was admitted to the hospital on Friday night, and was in liver failure over the weekend, and I had emergency surgery to remove my spleen Monday. they weren't sure I would survive till chemotherapy."

Michael made it successfully through chemotherapy.

As symbol of gratitude and to inspire others, he joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to raise money for research and complete his first triathlon.

"I wanted to thank everyone who helped me during my treatment and recovery, But more than that, I wanted to show my kids I was well."

Picarella says he doesn't just dedicate his efforts to fighting lymphoma. he's also taken part in events focusing on multiple myeloma, which claimed his father-in-law's life, and for breast cancer, which struck his wife several years ago.

"I think the added incentive of doing it for other people is what gets you across that finish line," said Michael as he explained why he joins so many events.

Oki Data Americas, a printing company in Mt Laurel, New Jersey, transports the cars free of charge to fundraising events.

The president of the company bought the cars after his wife had a scare with cancer..

The NeoClassic Corsair goes to colo-rectal cancer events and the Caddies go to breast cancer events so that thousands of survivors can proudly pose for pictures.

Stew Krentzman, OkiData Americas president, says, "It's a signal of hope and strength and making sure that everybody rallies both family and friends behind the patient."

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