Eau Claire community teams up for Ovarian Cancer Awareness month

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Eau Claire, WI (WEAU) -- September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and community members across Eau Claire are taking action to help fight the disease locally.

Regis High School Principal, Paul Pedersen says its event aimed at raising awareness for ovarian cancer is named, “Tie it Teal.”

“It's just been a good idea for raising money for ovarian cancer,” says Regis High School football player Nolan Kern. “Each year it's been a huge fundraiser for ovarian cancer so we decided to just keep bringing it back and raising money for a really good cause."

It started three years ago after tragedy struck the school community says Kern. “Mr. (Howard) Ludwigson, he was our principal, and his wife died of ovarian cancer so it's something that's really close to the Regis community," says Kern.

Kern say the National Honor Society partnered with the football team to raise awareness for a common but relatively unknown disease. “Football is a major way to get things out there,” says Kern. “A lot of people watch, a lot of people pay attention to it, so they decided that advertising at a football game would be the best way.”

Getting people to pay attention was what Courtney Paul had in mind as well when she pushed to pass a proclamation declaring September “Ovarian Cancer Awareness” month in the city of Eau Claire.

“I want to put a face to ovarian cancer, bring awareness to it simply because of the fact that there isn't a lot of funded research for it,” says Paul who passed the proclamation last year with the help of city council President Kerry Kincaid.

“I think it's important to use the power of my office and the city council to bring awareness to important issues, particularly health issues,” says Kincaid.

Paul lost her mother in April to ovarian cancer but says she hopes by bringing awareness to the disease, other women will take notice. She says, “A few years ago it was the silent killer, now it's the disease the whispers because we are starting to detect it earlier.

And, events like the one at the Regis versus Colby football game are steps that help bring the community together for a greater cause, says Pedersen noting Colby players plan to wear teal laces to help raise awareness for the cause.

“Their involvement is really a statement, that football is a game but in life you can participate on a different level for good causes, in the sense that we're in it together," says Pedersen.

Regis football player Gunnar Kern says the support from Colby is appreciated and teammate Nolan Kern says, “It really shows too, that even though we're enemies on the field that we can come together and support a good cause regardless.”

The Regis vs. Colby game will be held at Carson Park at 7pm, Sept. 19th.

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