MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - 16,000 women in the U.S. will die from ovarian cancer this year. It's the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death in women. The Ovarian Cancer Foundation is hoping to make people aware of the disease at its fifth annual 5k Walk or Run Teal for a Cure this weekend at Shelby Farms.
Some of the more than 700 people who will take to the trail at Shelby Farms for the Ovarian Cancer Foundation's 5k walk have battled cancer and won. At least one of those people has won that fight twice.
Connie Scheel is a fighter. "I was first diagnosed with endometrial cancer when I was 32," she said.
When she received that diagnosis, "I was just totally devastated and thought I was going to die."
Her fear of dying was eventually replaced with a will to live. After undergoing a hysterectomy the cancer was gone, or so she thought.
"About a year later they found a cancerous tumor that had grown back where they had removed my uterus."
After that diagnosis she started questioning herself.
"What did I do to make this happen to me not just once but twice?" she asked. "I went through a lot of guilt."
Scheel says it was at that point she realized, "there's something I'm supposed to learn from this… what I learned is that I needed to be on a different spiritual journey, one that started with gratefulness."
That realization started a road to recovery, followed by another round of cancer treatments, followed by another victory.
"It really doesn't feel possible that at 37 I've beaten cancer twice."
When she runs in the Ovarian Cancer Foundation's 5k event she doesn't care who she beats, because what's she's beaten is a much bigger foe than anyone she'll face in the race.
Last year 225 people participated in the race; this year that number has jumped to more than 700.
For more information on the event at Shelby Farms, visit www.ocafoundation.com