SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The final countdown to Hope For Heather’s Hope and Heels Fashion Show has begun, but making sure women know the signs of ovarian cancer is a year-round mission for Frieda Weeks.
Her daughter, Heather advocated for ovarian cancer while battling colon cancer and Weeks understands firsthand what a cancer diagnosis entails.
That’s why, after Heather passed, Weeks decided to keep her daughter’s mission alive through Hope For Heather.
One of the obstacles starts at the beginning. Ovarian cancer is often found in late-stage three or four because symptoms are so vague.
“Bloating, abdominal pain, difficulty eating, sometimes feeling full,” Weeks said.
They’re general symptoms, but if they’re persistent, Weeks says you should be just as persistent with your doctor.
In her experience as the founder of Hope For Heather, women are frequently dismissed.
One example is a woman who was given advice from a doctor to eat fewer carbs. Shortly after, she ended up in the ER and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
At the stage she was diagnosed, she has an 80 percent chance of recurrence, whereas if she had been diagnosed earlier, it would have been much less.
Sadly, that’s the norm. This is why Frieda urges women to track their symptoms and be their own advocates.
The other part of her mission is to make sure women know they have a place to turn.
Whether it’s for a hoodie with port access to stay warm and comfortable through treatment, or a hand to hold and an ear to listen, Hope For Heather gets it.
Frieda will welcome you with open arms.
“We hope we can bring them support and strength. We hope we can be there for them.”
Hope For Heather is gearing up for its annual fashion show fundraiser, Hope and Heels Fashion Show and Brunch.
The event is from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 14 at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.