Burke football team turns Goshen teal to raise awareness of ovarian cancer

Cory Lee remembers his aunt, wants all women to learn the early warning signs


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  • The Burke football team tie blue ribbons for ovarian awareness throughout the Village of Goshen (Photo provided)



“It was great that my teammates showed their support for this cause again. Everyone had a great time volunteering, and we plan to make this an annual Burke Catholic football tradition.”
Cory Lee

— The John S. Burke Catholic High School Football team put in some quality time off the field this month to do community service in their community for National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

To help raise awareness of this often deadly disease, team tied teal ribbons on trees in the Village of Goshen for the second year. They also handed out informational materials to local businesses in the hope more people will learn the symptoms. Early detection increases survival.

Junior player Cory Lee spearheaded the effort in memory of his aunt, Corinne Feller, who died of ovarian cancer at age 18. It was a joint effort. The Goshen mayor and village officials approved Cory's request, and James Murray Florist created the bows the team used to adorn the trees.

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.

“It was great that my teammates showed their support for this cause again,” said Cory, 15. “Everyone had a great time volunteering, and we plan to make this an annual Burke Catholic football tradition.”

The team’s efforts didn’t end there. With the support of Varsity Coach Kevin Ross, the players wore teal ribbons on their uniforms for the first home football game against O’Neill on Sept. 3. Ovarian Cancer awareness cards were also handed out at the gate.

“The team really came together and supported an important cause,” said Coach Ross. “We have a tight-knit team that cares a great deal about one another.”

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.

Corinne Feller was a lifelong Montgomery resident and standout student and athlete at Valley Central High school. She died of ovarian cancer after an 18-month battle.

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 has also been formed through the fund that speaks regularly to women’s groups and businesses 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.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct Cory Lee's name, which was incorrect in the subhead of the original online article.


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