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Elk Rapids Ovarian Cancer Survivor Helps Tie Michigan Teal

“I’m a nine year survivor of stage IIIC ovarian cancer,” said Debra Frick.

A local ovarian cancer survivor is helping spread awareness about the disease this month.

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.

The was started in 2011 to provide support, information for earlier detection and advocate for research.

“Ovarian cancer is a real disease, it’s a devastating disease and there’s hope for the future if you get treatment right away,” said Debra.

The Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance, MIOCA, has become a vital voice for the ovarian cancer community and all Michigan women.

“Breast cancer gets all the press and so we just want to get it out that ovarian cancer is a deadly disease, it’s the most deadly disease of all the women’s cancers,” said Debra.

Debra is here today as a survivor and to advocate for earlier detection because she had the symptoms but didn’t know until it was stage III.

“Symptoms like bloating and low back pain, urinary difficulties and feeling full fast when you eat and I had those,” said Debra.

She also didn’t have a support group to lean on but she did have her husband.

“It was good to be with her every step of the way through the physician’s visits, through the chemotherapy and back at home in recovery and it was good to be there to support her,” said her husband Dean Frick. “It’s important to me because it’s important to her and we’re in this together.”

In Elk Rapids you can find ribbons, symptom cards and posters throughout the village as MIOCA continues to Tie Michigan Teal.

“It’s our mission to educate women as to ovarian cancer, we also advocate legislature to get oral treatments passed and we also do research, we gave $100,000 to research this past year,” said Debra.

Click for more information on MIOCA or email mioca.org@gmail.com