WASHINGTON, Pa. (Sept. 17, 2012) – An honors student and athlete at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J), Haley Roberts is dedicated to spreading awareness of ovarian cancer and helping others fight the disease that she overcame.
In honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, the junior from Upper Saint Clair is coordinating a new campaign in Washington County this September called “Got TEAL’d.” The national movement encourages people to decorate the offices and front doors of their co-workers and neighbors in teal, the color of ovarian cancer awareness.
Roberts and other members of the local chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) are targeting the offices of influential leaders in the Pittsburgh region. President Tori Haring-Smith volunteered at the request of Roberts earlier this month. “I am impressed by students like Haley who take an active role in a cause they truly care about,” Haring-Smith said.
Roberts, who decorated the college President’s office with teal balloons, streamers, paper lanterns and posters, attributes the campaign’s success to the support of local leaders like Haring-Smith. “In a grassroots effort like this one, the power of example is extremely important in spreading awareness quickly,” Roberts said. “I hope others follow in the footsteps of leaders like Dr. Haring-Smith and help promote our message about this potentially deadly disease.”
With the support of W&J’s Magellan Project, Roberts volunteered this summer as a counselor at Camp Mak-A-Dream in Montana, where she facilitated athletic and artistic activities for hundreds of children and teenagers with cancer. “I was able to share my experiences as a cancer survivor to help offer the patients hope and encouragement,” Roberts said. The previous summer, Roberts studied at the Granulosa Cell Tumour Research Foundation at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, turning her research into a paper to help patients better understand ovarian cancer.
According to Roberts, no reliable screening test is available for the disease, so it’s vital that women recognize the signs and symptoms for early detection. For more information on ovarian cancer and how to get involved, visit www.whyteal.org.