February 21, 2017


February 21, 2017

Ribbons of Advocacy: Survivor determined to end cervical cancer 
Thank you for sharing the purple love: $4,500 donated in honor of loved ones 
Put a little teal in it: Survivor raises awareness for cervical cancer
Stay Warm in West Palm Beach

Ribbons of Advocacy: Survivor determined to end cervical cancer


After a diagnosis of cervical cancer, Paulette Apostolou decided her advocacy would start in “small,” doable amounts.

In the beginning, Apostolou started making cervical cancer ribbons with a note; giving each stranger a little information about Pap smear tests and cervical cancer. Her teal ribbons were placed in lines of grocery stores in the south Chicago suburbs with the message: “Together we can end cervical cancer.”

Eventually, she started to send them across the country from Florida to Idaho to Maryland. She calls her project Operation Teal.

Then, in January for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, Apostolou decided to host an event about cervical cancer with her gynecologic oncologist, Nita Lee, MD, a Society of Gynecologic Oncology member at the University of Chicago.

The event on Jan. 26 focused on the importance of Pap smear tests and Apostolou’s story and was sponsored by Cancer Support Center in Homewood, IL.

“I had never heard of cervical cancer until I was diagnosed with it, and I know that I am not the only woman,” Apostolou said.

Her discovery of cervical cancer at her diagnosis in 2016 sparked Apostolou’s determination to share with other women the importance of getting screened regularly for cervical cancer

“It has become really important for me to talk about (cervical cancer) and to let other women know that you can come get a Pap smear,” Apostolou said.

Initially, when Apostolou received her diagnosis she was not open talking about it. She even goes as far as describing herself as the “reluctant advocate.” It was only after attending Cervivor and online support groups that she started to realize the importance of speaking out.

She said it is important to normalize the conversation about cervical cancer and HPV. “It doesn’t matter if I had two sexual partners or 100 partners, I still had HPV,” she said.

For Apostolou telling her story is part of the healing process.  Yet, it is also is a way for her to touch other women’s lives and to change the conversation about cervical cancer and the negative social stigma attached.

“We have a chance to change that narrative and to get women to have a Pap smear test or get the HPV vaccine,” she said. “We don’t want any more women to go through [cervical cancer].”

Thank you for sharing the purple love: $4,500 donated in honor of loved ones


The Foundation for Women’s Cancer thanks all of our friends and advocates for sharing the purple love for Valentine’s Day.

In celebration of the holiday, the Foundation asked for loved ones to donate to the FWC in honor of their sweethearts.

Our friends and advocates donated $4,500 for our #Sharethepurplelove Valentine’s Day campaign. Thank you for doing your part to end women’s cancer and don’t forget that you can donate in honor of loved ones for any special holiday such as a birthday or anniversary.

Put a little teal in it: Survivor raises awareness for cervical cancer

event2.0Cervical cancer survivor Heather Rodriguez was determined to raise awareness and donations for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in January. Her efforts raised $440 for the Foundation for Women’s Cancer with help from her sister, teal hair extensions and her law firm.

Initially, friends encouraged Rodriguez to host a walk, but she decided against the idea simply because of the January weather in Milwaukee, WI.

Since her sister is a licensed hair stylist, Rodriguez decided to ask her employer, Tabak, a law firm in Milwaukee, to host a teal hair extensions party (teal has become an awareness color for cervical cancer in recent years). More than 17 women signed up for the teal hair extension party on Jan. 16  to show their support for cervical cancer awareness.

Rodriguez’s efforts steam from a determination to tell others about cervical cancer, the importance of women receiving their yearly checkup and children getting the HPV vaccine.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2015.

“The more we talk about cervical cancer, the more we normalize it,” she said. “I will be raising awareness about it [cervical cancer] throughout the year, not just during our ribbon month.”

Stay Warm in West Palm Beach

Registration is open for the free Ovarian Cancer Survivors Course in West Palm Beach, FL, which will provide valuable information for patients, caregivers, survivors and friends, from personalized treatment to survivorship. Topics include sexual recovery after cancer, clinical trials and symptom management for the cancer survivor.

The course on Saturday, Feb. 25 will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A breakfast and lunch will be provided.

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Course

Noon to 1 p.m.

Presentations include:

  • The Resilient Option: How to Withstand and Bounce Back from Adversity
  • Sexual Recovery after Cancer
  • Symptom Management for the Cancer Survivor
  • The Expanding Role of Genetic Assessment in the Management of Ovarian Cancer
  • Where We Are and Where We’re Going
  • Clinical Trials: The Basics

full schedule is available here. Hotel and parking information is available online. If you have any questions, please contact staff member, Teri Jordan, Chief Meeting and Education Officer at 312-676-3902.

See our complete list of upcoming 2017 Survivors Courses.

Survivors Quote of the Month


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Couldn’t make it to the National Race to End Women’s Cancer? You can still support women with gynecologic cancers by making a contribution today.


September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. #GCAM


The FWC is proud to offer various Research Grants and Awards. Click here for more information.


FREE Gynecologic Cancer Education Courses throughout the country. For more information, click here.