Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is held each year in February to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, but through Cancer Council’s Do It For Cancer fundraiser, Dean Rowe is advocating for greater awareness and better outcomes for ‘the silent killer’ every day.
After Dean lost his wife and love of his life Judith to ovarian cancer in March 2017, he has been determined to do something about it and has made raising funds and awareness for other women impacted by ovarian cancer his passion for the rest of his time.
“Ovarian cancer rarely receives the attention or the media of other more common cancers,” he explains.
But with almost no symptoms until it is advanced, it is often called ‘the silent killer’—we knew nothing about it until it was too late. Raising funds for Judith’s Legacy gives me hope that, together we can find better ways to detect and live beyond ovarian cancer.
“Proportionally, more women die from ovarian cancer, because it is usually diagnosed in its advanced stages.
“My aim is to see the develop of an accurate, non-invasive, inexpensive early detection test that should then form part of every woman’s annual health check-up, like Cervical Cancer Screening Tests and mammograms.”
Through an array of fundraising events held all year long—including his flagship event Judith’s Walk, Judith’s Breakfast, raffles, and donation collection boxes—Dean, with the support of the South Australian community, has raised an incredible $32,691 for the work Cancer Council SA does around ovarian cancer through their Gynaecological Cancer Fund.
With 420 South Australian women diagnosed with gynaecological cancer—like ovarian cancer—every year, Dean is committed to make a difference, one step, one dollar and one day at a time, all in honour of Judith.
“After she passed, I started Judith’s Walk as a fundraiser to honour Judith’s life and our life together and I haven’t stopped.
“Since having started Judith’s Legacy in 2017, I’ve already raised over $30,000 but with the help of the South Australian community, I hope to raise $50,000.”
Every dollar Dean has raised goes towards helping Cancer Council SA support women impacted by ovarian cancer and their families through funding our support programs, vital prevention programs and initiatives, as well as new ovarian cancer research discoveries, like those being made by Dr Carmella Ricciardelli.
Dr Ricciardelli’s research is funded through the Lin Huddlesston Ovarian Cancer Research Fellowship by Cancer Council SA. The fund was established to support an ovarian cancer researcher with the goal of contributing to finding a cure for this cancer. She actively supports Dean by speaking at his Fundraising Events where appropriate.
Her work focus is to devise new approaches for early diagnosis and treating advanced stage ovarian cancer by increasing our understanding of how the tumour microenvironment controls cancer progression and chemoresistance.
Ovarian cancer is a devastating disease and the leading cause of death from gynaecological cancers, affecting approximately 1 in 80 women in Australia – Dr Ricciardelli.
Dean is hoping to make even more of a difference to women impacted by ovarian cancer this month. He’s motivated to make a difference and raise $50,000 but he can’t do it without you.
“I believe in why and what I am doing. Because of that and the support of the community, Judith’s Legacy is making a difference.
“Judith’s Legacy is all about raising funds to help others like Judith—it’s my life passion for the rest of my time. But I can only do it with you help.”
You can support South Australians impacted by Ovarian and other gynaecological cancers by donating directly to Dean’s Do It For Cancer fundraiser, honouring Judith.