In honor of Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month, the non-profit organization Teal Diva will hold its 6th annual Lowcountry 5K on September 24 in Hutchinson Square, kicking off at 10 a.m.
Saturday’s affair will feature about 600 runners, a host of tailgating teams and several pharmaceutical reps handing out literature about ovarian cancer, which can’t be detected in women with a screening test, according to Teal Diva CEO Shannon Routh.
“The most important message we want to convey is that our organization celebrates life and honors those who have gone before us,” said the group’s founder and cancer survivor.
“Nobody wants to talk about ovaries unless you’re planning to get pregnant, so it’s not a fun topic. That’s why we try to have fun events in the community that get people out and we incorporate our messages in our events.”
Fun activities referenced by the Charlotte, North Carolina-based cancer awareness advocate and speaker include two floats competing in the 5k race with a five-minute lead. The carts will be pushed by members of F3 (Fitness, Fellowship, Faith), a network specializing in free peer-led workouts for men.
In addition, a prize awaits the tailgating groups, as whoever has the best tent will earn their recognition.
On hand to add some flavor to the outdoor competition and related festivities are a number of area mascots led by Charlie and Chelsey of the Charleston RiverDogs, as well as Cool Ray of the South Carolina Stingrays.
Routh went on to explain how donated funds are used to provide Lowcountry patients with “dignity shirts” for those undergoing chemotherapy. The shirts have zippers that allow individuals to avoid stripping completely during their treatments in a chemo lab.
The Teal Diva spokesperson continued to provide facts and figures on ovarian cancer communicating that only 16% of cases are diagnosed in their early stages. Moreover, she mentioned that it is the leading cause of death from gynecological cancer in women and that 19,880 women will contract the disease this year, including 12,810 who will die in a period of 12 months.
Those wishing to donate to the Routh Healing Fellowship are invited to visit www.tealdiv.org.
Explaining Saturday’s program, Routh noted, “We draw you in with our pizzazz and madness. Through this we present our cause to you.”