Burke Catholic Football Team Raises Awareness of Ovarian Cancer

Burke Catholic Football Team Raises Awareness of Ovarian Cancer

Senior, Cory Lee, honors his aunt, Corinne Feller’s memory with support from his team.

Goshen, N.Y. (August 29, 2017) –  The John S. Burke Catholic High School Football team put in some quality time off the field this week to do community service in their community. September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and to help raise awareness of this often deadly disease, the team tied teal ribbons on trees in the Village of Goshen for the third year straight. They also handed out awareness posters and cards to local businesses in the hope that more people will learn the symptoms. Early detection increases survival.

Senior player, Cory Lee, spearheaded the effort in memory of his aunt, Corinne Feller, who died of ovarian cancer at age 18. Corinne was a lifelong Montgomery resident and standout student and athlete at Valley Central High School. She died of ovarian cancer after a 10-month battle.

Cory has volunteered his time for the Corinne Feller Memorial Fund ever since he can remember. This was his chance to take the lead, and he received full support from his team.

Small Group Photo (From left to right): Burke Catholic Football players and volunteers Cory Lee, Danny Gandt, James Shaw, Kurt Grimm

“I was thrilled with the turnout. 42 guys and my coach came out to honor my Aunt Corinne’s memory and raise awareness of ovarian cancer,” said Cory, age 16. “Everyone had a great time volunteering. We have made this an annual Burke Catholic football tradition, and hope we are saving lives.”

The awareness effort wouldn’t have happened without the entire community’s support. The Goshen mayor and village officials approved Cory’s request, and James Murray Florist created the bows the team used to adorn the trees.

The team’s mission to raise awareness extends back to the Burke Catholic community. The players will wear teal ribbons on their uniforms for games during the month of September and ovarian cancer awareness cards will be handed out at the gate. 

“I now see girls at Burke Catholic with teal ribbons on their phones and boys with teal ribbons on their lockers,” said Cory. “It means a lot to have this message catch on. I’m really proud of what my team has accomplished.”

Why early diagnosis is crucial

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States. There is no early detection test. The symptoms are subtle and often misdiagnosed, which is why knowing the symptoms is very critical.

“We want to get people asking questions about ovarian cancer,” said Nicole Feller Lee, founder of the Corinne Feller Memorial Fund. “With early diagnosis, treatment is 90 to 95 percent effective. But most women aren’t diagnosed until it’s too late.”

Classic symptoms of ovarian cancer include pelvic or abdominal pain and discomfort (bloating), vague but persistent gastrointestinal upsets, frequent or urgent urination, unexplained changes in bowel habits, unexplained weight gain or loss, ongoing unusual fatigue, back pain, menstrual changes, and pain during intimacy. 

Since 1999, the Corinne Feller Memorial Fund has raised funding for local ovarian cancer awareness programs and quality of life initiatives, as well as research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. A survivors group, C.A.S.T., has also been formed through the fund that speaks regularly to women’s groups and health practitioners throughout the Hudson Valley. 

Turn The Towns Teal is a national campaign being represented in all 50 states as well as in Canada and Bermuda.
For more about the Corinne Feller Memorial Fund, visit corinnefeller.org.