Itâ€™s once again September, a month that brings the start of the school year and a calendar filled with festivals and fairs.
But, for Bristol resident Judy Lodovico, it means just one thing: September is ovarian cancer awareness month.
One in 75 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime and two-thirds of them wonâ€™t survive. Thatâ€™s because ovarian cancer is much harder to detect than other cancers. Most women donâ€™t learn that they are sick until itâ€™s too late.
Fortunately, Lodovico, who was diagnosed 15 years ago, won her battle with the disease and has made it her mission to alert others to this silent killer.
Each September, she and a growing army of volunteers â€śturn the town tealâ€ť to get her important message across.
That is: Learn the symptoms, as outlined in a special section of Sundayâ€™s newspaper.
And, if anything looks unusual, donâ€™t delay in seeing a doctor.
With early detection, the odds are in a womanâ€™s favor; in fact, thereâ€™s a five-year survival rate of 92 percent. The key, then, doctors say, is to raise awareness as Lodovico is doing, and take an active role in our own health management.
And, if we need a reminder, all we have to do is travel the streets of Bristol where Lodovico and her supporters are tying bright blue ribbons on banks, shops and even fence posts â€“ a reminder to all of us that early detection can save a life.
Maybe even the life of someone you love.