JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro business is working to educate the public about ovarian cancer.
Jagged Edge kicked off its third annual Teal Toes event on Thursday.
Jonesboro resident Cindy Craig has been battling ovarian cancer since the summer of 2015.
Craig said it means a lot to see the community come out in support.
"It's been the hardest fight of my life," Craig said. "It's so encouraging that businesses support it and that people would come out and spend their money to support it. As one who is fighting that battle, it blesses my heart that someone would want to do that."
Tammie Richardson with Jagged Edge said the number of women who are effected by ovarian cancer is staggering.
"I'm not a number person, but this is what speaks to me every year when I review it," Richardson said. "Over 14,000 women die in the United States alone yearly. Of those 14,000 plus 94% would have lived had it been caught sooner. So, I have a big mouth and we use what we've got and spread it."
All proceeds from the event go to support the NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation Hope Circle.
Hope Circle works to provide communities with hope, support and educational programming that is free of charge for families living with a catastrophic illness.
The programs are designed to meet the needs of the patient, caregivers, and support systems.
"One of the great things about supporting this event," Craig said. "Not only are they raising money for Hope Circle which offers great community support. But, it's also going to get information into women's hands about the things to watch for. The warning signs. And ovarian cancer is a silent killing. It is so often found at a late stage because a lot of the warning signs are things as women we deal with all the time. The bloating, the frequent urination as women we have as we get older. Those things are normal. We blow those off and don't check things out. These sort of event where they're passing out literature. It's going to get conversations started and make women think I should probably go get checked out."
Symptoms of ovarian cancer are bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full too quickly and urinary frequency.
When these symptoms are caused by ovarian cancer they are also persistent and represent a change from normal.
Craig said support can make all the difference in the world.
"Last year when I was in chemo and all my friends posted pictures of their teal toes," Craig said. "Men were included. Horses with teal hooves. It just blessed my heart. It was a reminder to them to look down at those toes and pray for me and other women who are in the same battle. It's a huge blessing and a great thing for Jonesboro for our community that this is going on. I'm so thankful."
"Part of the reason I love Hope Circle is they love to spread hope," Richardson said. "Everybody can do something. So, just do whatever it is that you're good at. Ovarian cancer effects our communities and it effects our families. So, learn about it and tell somebody else."
Richardson said they have twelve tables worth of items to auction off, as well.
"We have so many auction items," Richardson said. "People actually called us and asked if they could bring things in. We have a lot of local places that have contributed."
Richardson said they would take bids on items until seven in the evening.
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