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A symbol of hope this World Ovarian Cancer Day

07 May 2020

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Cary Wakefield, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Action, reflects on the importance of change and what it means to be raising awareness in these times.

"The current crisis has changed pretty much everything about the way we all work. I now commute to work at my kitchen table, with my adult “children”  occasionally walking in to visit the fridge only to be disappointed and leave again. Like many of you, I can’t quite believe that just a few months ago, I had never used Zoom. 

We’ve had to change how we raise awareness too. At the moment, 90% of women don’t know the main symptoms of ovarian cancer. What’s more, there’s been a massive decline both in the number of people going to see their GPs and cancer diagnosis these past six weeks due to COVID-19. Symptoms awareness and early diagnosis is as important as it’s ever been. This World Ovarian Cancer Day we hope to reach women across the UK with the important message that symptoms awareness remains vital, and their GPs’ doors remain open. 

On World Ovarian Cancer Day, we raise awareness of ovarian cancer and its symptoms through a symbol of hope: a white rose. For the last two years, we have joined forces with our supporters to hand out thousands of white roses with symptoms cards attached in cities across the UK. We may not be able to take to the streets this year but we won’t let that stop us. 

For the month of May we’re asking everybody to create and share their own white rose with the symptoms of ovarian cancer to raise awareness, and to add a photo of their creation to our gallery to be part of the UK’s largest rose garden.  

You can craft a rose however you like -  by painting, baking, knitting, or using origami. Our rose craft pack is free to download for some extra inspiration. Once the rose is created, an image can be uploaded to our virtual rose garden - from where you can also click to share your creation alongside the symptoms of ovarian cancer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #OCARoseGarden, and if you can, donate."

Download your free rose craft pack to get started, and help us spread the word. Whether you draw, paint, knit or bake, you might just save a life. Create a rose.