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Turn the Towns Teal

To raise awareness about the symptoms of ovarian cancer



Jody Osborn and Frosty Friedman tying ribbons in Old Greenwich

Last month you may have noticed Greenwich got a little more colorful. Teal ribbons adorned trees from the Avenue to Sound Beach and lots of spots in between. The ribbons were part of Turn the Towns Teal, a national campaign brought to Greenwich in 2012 by five local women to raise our collective consciousness about the symptoms of ovarian cancer. “We’re not raising money, just awareness. We want to make women aware of the silence of this disease,” says one of the group’s organizers Frosty Friedman of Old Greenwich. “It is a very deadly disease and there are not a lot of treatments so the importance lies in catching it early.”

The women, who have each been touched by ovarian cancer in some way, got the idea from neighboring New Canaan. “We saw the teal ribbons in New Canaan and thought, we can do that too,” she says. After going through the proper channels at Parks and Recreation, the women set to work. This year, Frosty and her group took the effort a step further by attaching laminated symptom cards to each ribbon. As the women were tying the ribbons they received firsthand acknowledgement of the pervasiveness of this disease. “A number of different people approached us and mentioned a daughter, sister, mother who has ovarian cancer. They commented that they love what we are doing because people just do not know much about this disease,” Frosty says.  

Symptoms of ovarian cancer, such as fatigue, abdominal pain, back pain and gastrointestinal upset, are vague and can often be dismissed by busy women. Turn the Towns Teal is a push to encourage women not to overlook these signs.

Currently Frosty and her friends are working with Memorial Sloane Kettering to organize a free informational lecture here in town in the coming months. We’re pretty confident that nothing is going to stop these women. Bring on the ribbons ladies.

For more information go to turnthetownsteal.org.

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