Jodi’s Race also has an option to participate virtually and Denver7’s Jaclyn Allen will emcee a virtual celebration at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 13th. For more information or to register for Jodi’s Race, please visit www.jodisrace.org
On Saturday, June 12th, the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA) will celebrate the 12th anniversary of Jodi’s Race for Awareness with an in-person run/walk at Denver’s City Park. Among those eagerly anticipating the event is Kathy Campe, a 15-year ovarian cancer survivor who was initially diagnosed when she was 49 years old. Last year, Jodi’s Race took place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic and received tremendous support from the community. Campe was among the 100+ faces on a Zoom gathering last June to celebrate the Virtual Dash. “At the time, it was very uplifting to see familiar faces we hadn’t connected with in person for a few months, “ said Campe. However, she’s looking forward to celebrating in person this year. “There’s just a tremendous amount of positive energy, joy and love at Jodi’s Race. It’s one of my favorite events of the summer,” explained Campe.
Campe participated in the very first Jodi’s Race for Awareness, which was started in 2010 by a young mother who felt she would have discovered her ovarian cancer at an earlier phase when it was more treatable if she had known the symptoms. Since then, the annual Race has grown to an average attendance of more than 3,000. Survivors are honored at a special breakfast and receive a string of beads for each year of survivorship. Family and friends gather at uniquely designed booths in Team Village, each of which celebrates a survivor or memorializes a loved one. Many form teams with clever names and design special team shirts. The fence along the start/finish line is covered with wreaths that honor women who have battled ovarian cancer and signs along the course share symptom information and recognize loved ones.
For Campe, who has volunteered at or attended every Jodi’s Race, the event is inspirational. She remembers the fear and isolation when she was first diagnosed and knows that seeing women like her, whose necks are covered with strands of beads that commemorate each year of survival, provides hope and sisterhood to women still struggling with the disease.
In addition to offering hope and celebration, Jodi’s Race is both an educational event and a fundraiser for COCA. Because there is no screening test for ovarian cancer, it’s important for women to recognize the most common symptoms ─ bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary urgency or frequency. Any symptoms that continue for two weeks or more or recur frequently should be reported to a physician promptly. Funds raised through Jodi’s Race support COCA programs including support groups, individual counseling, financial assistance and navigation, an Ovarian Cancer Resource Guide, comfort kits, educational programs and much more.