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Stories of Inspiration

Running to Give Back

By May 14, 2021June 14th, 2021No Comments

Michael Davidson of New York is a world traveler and avid marathon runner. His marathon career began in 1997 when he wanted a goal to kick off the new year. That goal would mean months of training and completing his first marathon that year at the age of 25. “It was only ten months earlier that I was sitting in my apartment in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, that I decided I needed a goal to kick-start the year ahead. Although I never enjoyed running nor was in any kind of condition, I thought trying to get into the NYC Marathon as well as the training and race itself would be a fitting endeavor.” 23 years and 28 marathons later he agreed to run for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition in what would have been the 2020 New York City Marathon.

“Last year, after completing my 11th New York City Marathon, my dear friend Geske asked me when I was going to run for the ovarian cancer cause. Geske and I have been colleagues and friends for over 8 years, and I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Geske has been living with ovarian cancer for 6 years and supporting a friend and a great cause is especially meaningful to me. I have run several marathons for charity; when I’m asked why not just donate instead, I realize for me, a donation is important, but not as symbolic to train for months, dedicate my hours and physical and mental self to put in the work it takes to run 26.2 miles. Running for Geske is a boost for her – and for me. There are many times I do not look forward to going out and running, and it never gets easier, but knowing I am doing it for a friend is inspiring for both of us.

Time is perhaps the most precious resource and yet no person truly knows how much they possess before it runs out. We often make assumptions that our lives will last until some measure of old age and defer dreams and hopes that we should pursue in the present. Life should not be rushed or urged to go pass quickly so that we can move onto the next thing or to overthink the past. Rather we must use the time to maximize the experience itself and relish the moment. In some races, especially in NYC, I relish stops along the way to drink water, catch my breath and enjoy watching the other runners passing by, each of whom is running their own personal race – and often supporting a cause, to memorialize someone, or to prove they can do anything they set their mind to. I have visited 48 countries, ran a marathon in each continent and the New York City Marathon is my favorite, it’s my city, it’s the day that the entire city comes together and cheers the runners regardless of race, color, creed, love, politics, and abilities. I will run the 2021 NYC Marathon for NOCC Team TEAL and for my friend Geske; it will be my honor and privilege to do so’. Michael has written Reflections on Running: Run for Your Life that details his marathon journeys.”

Michael Davidson

Michael Davidson is the current top fundraiser for NOCC Team TEAL in 2020 and has raised over $7,900 to support the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. Interested in being part of NOCC Team TEAL? Contact

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Stages of Ovarian Cancer

Before ovarian cancer - healthy ovaries

Stage 1 - Cancer is confined to one or both ovaries

Stage 2 - Cancer spreads within the pelvic region

Stage 3 - Average stage of diagnoses is stage 3C; cancer spreads to other body parts within the abdomen

Stage 4 - Cancer spreads beyond the abdomen to other body parts


National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

Stages of Ovarian Cancer

Stage 1

The cancer is confined to the ovary or fallopian tube

1A - The cancer is confined to one ovary only

1B - The cancer is found on both ovaries

1C - One or both ovaries are found with cancer cells spilling out from the ovaries

1C1 - Accidental rupture of the capsule by the surgeon during surgery

1C2 - Rupture of the capsule occurred before surgery

1C3 - Cancer cells are found in the fluid of the pelvis/abdomen

Stage 2

Growth of the cancer involves one or both ovaries with pelvic extension

2A - Extension of cancer to fallopian tubes or uterus

2B - Extension of cancer to other pelvic organs

Stage 3

Growth of the cancer involves one or both ovaries, and the cancer has spread beyond the pelvis

3A - Microscopic cancer cells found in upper abdomen or lymph nodes

3B - Visible tumor found in upper abdomen less than 2cm in size

3C - Visible tumor found in upper abdomen greater than 2cm in size, including disease on the surface of liver or spleen

Stage 4

The cancer growth is widely spread throughout the body

4A - Cancer is found in the fluid around lung

4B - Cancer is found inside the lungs, liver or spleen

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

30 Years of Courage


NOCC begins as a grassroots organization founded by advocates and survivors in Boca Raton, Florida


NOCC incorporates as the country’s first national organization providing awareness and education about ovarian cancer.


The first national ovarian cancer information hotline is established (1-888-OVARIAN), now averaging 10,000 calls each year.


NOCC proclaims a week in September “National Ovarian Cancer Week,” with a declaration from President Clinton. “Walk for a Whisper” 5K Walk/Run is initiated.


NOCC and the ovarian community proclaim September as “National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.”


The organization produces television PSA about early detection and distributes to 30 states.

2003 received the Award from OncoLink, the first online cancer resource founded by University of Pennsylvania cancer specialists.

NOCC receives the National Points of Light award in celebration of the success and impact volunteers have made in their communities.


NOCC launches “Body Image/Body Essence” art exhibit by sculptor John Magnan as a tribute to his wife’s journey with ovarian cancer.


NOCC launches the “Break the Silence” national education campaign.


The “Break the Silence” campaign reaches 100M impressions.

NOCC helps launch the first consensus on ovarian cancer symptoms.


NOCC moves its principal place of operation and state of incorporation/registration from Boca Raton, Florida to Dallas, Texas.

NOCC advocates help to double Department of Defense funding for ovarian cancer research to $20M per year.


“Newly Diagnosed Patient Kit” is launched. DVD resource is made available in Spanish and Mandarin; 450,000+ pieces of literature are distributed nationwide.


The Faces of Hope® program and term “Run/Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer” are initiated. 

Annual fundraising events are branded “Run/Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer®.”


NOCC partners with The Dr. Oz Show to create his Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer® campaign.

Over 1200 newly diagnosed women receive NOCC’s TEAL PACKET®

The “Ann Schreiber Ovarian Cancer Research Training Program of Excellence: A study by Dr. Ruth Perets” is supported by NOCC with a $50,000 contribution.


NOCC supports quality of life research with the GOG 0225, LIvES Study, which is ongoing and conducted by the University of Arizona Cancer Center.


More than 4,000 Faces of Hope TEAL totes are distributed.


More than 575,000 pieces of education and awareness literature are distributed nationally.

NOCC affirms its commitment to research with the newest  initiative, collaborating with Stand Up to Cancer, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, and Ovarian Cancer Research Fund to support the “Ovarian Cancer Dream Team.”

NOCC is featured in the highly coveted showcase window at 10 Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan.


NOCC reaches its milestone 25th anniversary.

NOCC becomes an official charity partner for the New York Marathon and launches its first platform for endurance enthusiasts across the U.S - Team Teal®.


Rejuvenate, the first event of its kind, is introduced by NOCC for survivors as a retreat experience centered around the mind, body and spirit; it later expands to a national series.

Not Knowing is Killing Us is launched as a hard-hitting national awareness campaign. 


NOCC's signature Run/Walk Series is rebranded and Together in Teal® Ending Ovarian Cancer is brought to life in communities across the nation.  


Team Teal®, NOCC's endurance platform, expands internationally with participants in Greece and Canada.  

Together in Teal® Ending Ovarian Cancer is hosted at New York City's Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, a national historic landmark.


In response to the pandemic, NOCC introduces programming offering relief to women and their caregivers including home meal delivery, Comfort for the Soul, and online professional counseling through Comfort the Mind.  

Teal Hearts Network, a series of regional survivor support groups, commences in a virtual setting.

Together in Teal(R) hosts its first virtual experience, No Boundaries, and unites participants in 50 states and 9 countries.  

Signs and Symptoms

Ovarian cancer signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Back pain
  • Upset stomach or heartburn
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation or menstrual changes
  • Pain during sex