Northwestern State University is participating in Turn Teal Natchitoches, an initiative to educate the public about ovarian cancer during September, ovarian cancer awareness month. Ovarian Cancer is one of the deadliest of women’s cancers. Each year, approximately 21,980 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It is estimated by the World Health Organization IARC department that there are over 238,000 new cases diagnosed annually and nearly 152,000 deaths worldwide.
Earlier in the week, NSU’s Office of First Year Experience hosted a nail-painting session in the Student Union to provide ribbons and information to students and the NSU columns were lit in teal light. Motorists in downtown Natchitoches may also notice teal and white ribbons adorning the Church Street Bridge.
“Four years ago, Turn Teal collaborated with the City of Natchitoches and the Louisiana School for Math, Sciene and the Arts to bring awareness to our community about the severity of ovarian cancer,” said local Turn Teal organizer Leah Lentz, a counselor at LSMSA who lost her mother, Sue Gregory Coleman, to ovarian cancer. “Last year NSU joined the effort. We witnessed how conflict and loss can bring our community together, strengthen us and create incredible change for the better. Conflict often teaches us what we care about most is what really matters. Our community is at the heart of healing the impact ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.”
Also next week, LSMSA will host a coffee and awareness event in which NSU and city of Natchitoches administrators will join school principals from throughout the parish.
“We want to bring Turn Teal outside the city and into the whole parish to promote our partnership with our parish schools and community,” Lentz said. “We are going to share with our principals what we are doing to promote ovarian cancer awareness and hope they take it to their schools and participate next year.”
For more information on Turn Teal Natchitoches, visit the group’s Facebook page at facebook.com/turntealnatchitoches or email Lentz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From left are Smith, Turn Teal Natchitoches organizer Leah Lentz, Dawna DeBlieux and Ben and Dorothy Pratt.