On March 5, 2019, a final report was delivered to Governor Kay Ivey’s office and distributed to other legislative offices in Montgomery and Washington D.C. This report contained the findings and recommendations of the Alabama Study Commission on Gynecologic Cancers, which was formed in 2018. Lilies Susan Leighton and Regina Parker served on the Commission, along with Dr. Tyler Kirby of TVGO and Dr. Sara Cooper from HudsonAlpha. Other advocacy groups from the State of Alabama, including Laura Crandall Brown Foundation in Birmingham, were represented as well as physicians from UAB, Mitchell Cancer Center in Mobile and representatives from the State Department of Public Health and others. We appreciate everyone’s hard work, and we will continue to work hard in the coming years to enact the recommendations from the report.
Support group started with a Lilies only meeting in January to talk about the year to come and to share news with each other.
In February we were treated to a visit by Nadine Wormsbacher of Bodyworks Massage Therapy who talked to us about Reiki and meditation. Thank you Nadine!
Here’s the link to the 2018 HudsonAlpha Tie the Ribbons survivor’s video. Great job Susan!
The close to another September Gynecologic Cancer Awareness month. We planned a Dinner in the Garden for 9/25/18. The dinner happened, but not in the garden. A strong line of thunderstorms meant a last minute move to CCI, but we still had a great time and an awesome turnout. These are just a few photos from the event. Visit the Lilies’ Facebook page to see more!
STS/Teal Talk at Northeast Alabama Community College on 9/18/18, Susan Leighton, Regina Parker and Deborah Miller shared their knowledge.
Beautiful, but hot day!
Susan Leighton and Regina Parker representing “Survivor” Tealabama Tribe at the OCRFA conference in July. On Monday 7/16 we joined other survivors and advocates where we made our voices heard on Capitol Hill in visits to our Senators and Representatives.
The Lilies participated in CCI’s Survivor’s Day celebration on June 1. Thanks CCI!
Great article in the April 8, 2018 Huntsville Times about Susan’s award and the Lilies.
Our very own Susan Leighton was honored on March 23, 2018 as an Ovarian Cancer Hero by Cure Magazine in their inaugural awards. It was a fabulous weekend in New Orleans capped off with the awards dinner where we met Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy and one of People Magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive”). So much fun, and we are so proud of Susan!
On Saturday, March 3, 2018, the Lilies hosted a showing of the movie, One Year Later, followed by a panel discussion. The movie told the story of how one woman reclaimed her life after a cancer diagnosis and treatment. It was an uplifting movie and event. Thank you to our sponsors who made this possible: Tennessee Valley Gynecologic Oncology, UAH College of Nursing, Alliance Cancer Care and Hospice Family Care.
FIrst health fair of 2018: Weatherly YMCA on January 27.
Our December meeting was our annual Christmas luncheon. We enjoyed the food and getting to catch up with one another. Thank you Kim for the lovely Christmas ornaments you gave to us.
On November 8, 2017, the Lilies attended HudsonAlpha’s annual Tie the Ribbons luncheon, which
raises money for breast and ovarian cancer research. Two of our Lilies,
Tammi Scruggs and Wendy Norris, shared their survival stories in the video shown at the luncheon. It was a great lunch and a great time to spend some time with our Lilies sisters.
You can watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/240689890/bf079b229b
We had special guests at our October meeting: Caitlin Crawford and Erin Whited with Sigma Alpha Omega Sorority at Jacksonville State University who presented with a donation. They raised funds on campus during September Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and selected the Lilies to receive the proceeds. Thank you both and all your sisters for your work on our behalf. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and look forward to working with you in the future.
Lilies members enjoyed a delicious dinner from Carrabbas and provided to us by CCI in our honor on September 26, 2017. Thank you to Leigh Ann Childress and Jill Wilson for putting together our lovely dinner and the table decorations. Thank you to Dr. Marshall Schreeder for stopping by to tell us that he appreciates all we do for the survivor community. You guys are the best!
We want to again thank and recognize participants who recognized September Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month with either mayoral proclamations and/or as participants in the statewide teal lighting initiative. Thank you to Huntsville Hospital, Calhoun Community College, Northeast Alabama Community College, and the Huntsville Botanical Gardens.
Thank you to the cities of Madison, Athens, Florence, Gadsden and Arab for your support also. You help make a difference in women’s lives.
On September 14, 2017, the Lilies were invited to attend a Charity Fair sponsored by Adtran and held on their campus at Research Park. Judy Berkowitz and Regina Parker attended and took information about ovarian cancer awareness. We also took fliers and photographs showcasing the Lilies Garden in downtown Huntsville. We are hoping to sell some garden bricks and the large tile sponsorships. It was a beautiful day for the fair, and we appreciate Adtran for including us.
CCI’s Survivor’s Day celebration day in June!
Relay for Life was held in downtown Huntsville around the courthouse square on May 20. Unfortunately, the threat of storms kept many people away. But the Lilies were there representing women with ovarian cancer!
Susan Leighton and Regina Parker gave a Teal Talk to the Rocket City Coders group at their meeting on February 21 at the Dowdle Center. We appreciate the opportunity to educate women in our area about ovarian cancer signs and symptoms. In this photo, we are holding the Winter issue of Cancer Today magazine, which includes a feature article on Susan and her advocacy work! We’re so proud to have her as part of the Lilies and grateful for her efforts of our behalf.
On Saturday, January 28, Eva Green and Regina Parker worked the Lilies table at the Weatherly YMCA Health Fair. Great crowd!
No regular support group in December; instead, join us as we enjoy the holiday season at the Olive Garden on Monday, Dec. 12. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
Regina Parker spoke to the CARA cancer research student group at Oakwood University on December 1. Thank you Oakwood for providing the Lilies the opportunity to educate students on the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Thank you to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Ana Franklin for coming to
the November meeting and presenting us with a donation from the Trails for Teal ride in memory of our dear Lily Michelle Lawler Burks. This is the third year Morgan County has had the ride in Michelle’s memory.
Our next regular support group meeting will be Tuesday, October 25, 5:30 p.m., 2nd floor Community Room at Clearview Cancer Institute. Our speaker will be Nadine Wormsbacher of Bodywork for Healing. She’ll be showing us some techniques that relieve stress, help with fatigue, relaxation and more. Family and friends (caretakers) are welcome!
On Wednesday, October 19, Regina Parker and Eva Green set up our Lilies exhibit at the City of Huntsville Employee Health and Wellness Fair. This is a well-attended event, and we always enjoy the opportunity to spread awareness to so many people.
WOW! It’s been an awesome Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.
We wrapped it up with a gathering at the Garden of Life and Remembrance on Meridian Street on Tuesday, September 27. Those we’ve lost were remembered and the Lilies members in attendance rang the bell for each year of survival. It was a memorable and fun evening for all members, friends and family in attendance. Thank you Dr. Engle for cooking our BBQ and a huge thank you to Beth Engle for coordinating this event!
On Thursday, September 22, 2016, several Lilies attended the annual HudsonAlpha Tie the Ribbons luncheon. The video shown at the luncheon can be seen here. One of the survivors interviewed is our current executive director, Regina Parker.
September, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Once again, the Lilies of the Valley joined with other groups across the state in the A State of Teal awareness campaign (www.astateofteal.org). Special thanks to all the participants! For more information and photos, be sure to check out our Facebook page as well as the A State of Teal Facebook page to see participants throughout the state.
Special Guest Mayor Troy Trulock from Madison joined the Lilies at our August meeting on 8/30, to present a proclamation about September Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. We appreciate the Mayor coming to our meeting and giving us his and the City of Madison’s support!
Cities who participated in the A State of Teal awareness campaign and provided proclamations that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month in their city were Madison, Huntsville, Gadsden, Attalla, Gadsden and Arab. Thank you all for your support and for recognizing this crucial health issue that affects families in your area.
On July 30, the Lilies were invited to exhibit at Huntsville Hospital’s Women’s Conference held at the Dowdle Center. Awesome program and speakers. Thanks for including us!
Our support group meeting on Tuesday, July 26 featured speaker Roy Williams, a counselor who leads the “Coping with Cancer” group at CCI. These meetings are for both patients and caregivers, so if you’re looking for a group that includes caregivers, check it out. They meet on Fridays at 10 a.m. You can call CCI for details on dates, times and location of meetings.
Our June Support Group meeting on June 28 was fabulous. Dr. Tyler Kirby from TVGO gave a presentation on Clinical Trials and how to interpret results. He gave us a lot of useful tips for what to look for in study design and reporting. Thank you Dr. Kirby for taking the time to come share your expertise with us!
Redstone Federal Credit Union invited the Lilies to their employee wellness day on Tuesday, June 28. There was a big turnout and it was a great time to spread knowledge and awareness.
On Friday, June 10, the Lilies had a table at Clearview Cancer Institute’s Survivor’s Day celebration. It was great to see all the survivors and caregivers, and we were able to give out information to lots of people about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.
The Lilies of the Valley held the bi-annual Spring Symposium at Calhoun Community College on Saturday, April 30. It was a great event. Thank you to our speakers, Dr. David Engle from Tennessee Valley Gynecologic Oncology, and Dr. Kimberly Strong from HudsonAlpha for giving up their Saturday morning to spend spreading awareness about women’s health issues. Thank you also to our awesome Survivors Teaching Student Lilies panel: Susan Leighton, Sheila Amos, Lisa Broussard and Jesse Robinson for sharing your stories, and to all the Lilies who came out to work that day in order to make the Symposium a success.
See our Facebook page for more photos!
On March 17 , ovarian cancer advocates from around the state, including members of the Lilies of the Valley, traveled to the state capitol in Montgomery to encourage our legislators to support ovarian cancer awareness and to vote for the oral-chemotherapy parity act. Alabama is one of the few states in the U.S. that does not provide the same insurance coverage for oral chemo drugs as for drugs administered in a clinical setting.
Our February Support Group meeting was a “Lilies only” meeting as we made plans for the Spring Symposium coming up in April. We also shared our experiences with treatment with a couple of the newer members. These small, Lilies only meetings are a great place to ask questions that you might not feel comfortable asking in a larger group, so please make plans to attend support group meetings even if there isn’t a speaker/program.
We started off 2016 with an awesome support meeting. Our speaker was Jamie Collins, RD who gave a very informative talk about general nutrition and the special nutritional needs for those in chemotherapy and/or dealing with side effects. Below are links to some of the websites that Jamie recommends as good sources of nutrition information:
USDA Food Safety Fact Sheets: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets
The ELLICSR Kitchen: https://www.ellicsr.ca/en/clinics_programs/ellicsr_kitchen/Pages/recipe_archive.aspx
The Lilies were at the Weatherly YMCA Health Fair on Saturday, January 30, 2016. Thanks Susan for giving up your Saturday to help with the health fair!