WEDDING WILL HAVE EXTRA SPECIAL MEANING FOR OVARIAN CANCER SURVIVOR
Walking down the aisle on June19, will have extra special meaning for 25-year-old Kelly Goss.
A little over a year ago, Goss was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She had surgery, followed by three rounds of debilitating chemotherapy. But happily, she is cancer-free today.
Kelly, who will marry Shaun Swearingen in Parkwood United Presbyterian Church, hopes to raise awareness about ovarian cancer at her wedding. Her bridesmaids will wear teal dresses, the nationally recognized color for awareness of ovarian cancer. Instead of wedding favors being handed out to guests at the reception, two framed cards will be at each table stating “in recognition of your love and support a donation has been made in your honor to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.”
“Wedding favors are usually not so useful and my wedding is a perfect place to raise awareness about ovarian cancer,” said Kelly, whose wedding colors are teal and dark silver. “With our donation cards, more than 300 people attending my wedding can then feel they contributed to a good cause.”
Kelly learned she had cancer in February 2009 after experiencing excruciating back pain. She had known for several years that she had a benign ovarian cyst and wondered whether the cyst had ruptured. She went to the hospital and was told to see her gynecologist. That’s when Kelly learned the cyst had grown to the size of a grapefruit and she needed surgery.
“At the time no one mentioned cancer or a malignancy at all,” said Kelly, who hopes to receive her Master’s degree in education in December from Duquesne University and then work with autistic children. “My doctor thought she’d just take out the cyst.” But things turned out differently. Kelly started chemo treatments in early April and completed them mid May last year.
Shaun, who was finishing his Master’s degree in sports administration at Ohio Northern University, visited Kelly regularly and moved to Pittsburgh last July. “Shaun got down on one knee and asked me to marry him on my birthday, which was after my second treatment,” Kelly said. “Throughout everything, he’s been more supportive and caring that I could have ever imagined. When I lost my hair, I cried about how he would view me. But he said ‘I’m marrying you, not your hair.’”
Kelly is quick to point out that even though she wants to raise awareness about ovarian cancer, the wedding will not focus on what she went through. “I’m getting married,” she said, happily. “It’s a day to enjoy ourselves. And that’s what I intend to do.”
Pictures available upon request. For information, contact Ronni Blaisdell, Director of Communications, The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition at 973-944-0719.
To learn more about NOCC and ovarian cancer, go to www.ovarian.org.