Nicole Swanson has been involved in HOM Teal Strides for the past two years. As an ovarian cancer survivor of 2 years, Nicole cares deeply about the ovarian cancer research funding that MOCA funds thanks to fundraising efforts of our supporters.
Nicole and four other HOM Teal Strides participants are serving as HOM Teal Strides Ambassadors this year, sharing their stories and tips with others. Read on to hear what Nicole has to say about our event.
Why do you take part in HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer? Who is your inspiration?
As an ovarian cancer survivor, I participate in HOM Teal Strides to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and to raise funds for research, patient care and advocacy.
Before my diagnosis I had only heard of two people having ovarian cancer and both were celebrities. Now that I’m part of this ovarian cancer community, I hear it about it all the time and those around me do, too. Something needs to change with ovarian cancer research funding and awareness – we all need to do more! I’m proud to be a part of that change.
How big is your team? How do you motivate others to take part with you?
My team – Coley’s Wolfpack – includes about 30 to 50 friends and families. I talk about it year-round and as soon as the walk is done for the year we “save the date” for the next year.
Coley’s Wolfpack means the world to me as it’s a team filled with love and we walk together wearing our Teal in Zeal!
What would you say to someone who is considering taking part in the event for the first time?
Go for it – I walked at the event 1 ½ months after my surgery and one week after my first chemo. Even if you can’t make the walk and just go for the community aspect, it’s an amazing day in so many ways.
The walk is hosted in a lovely park and it’s filled with others just like me, some of us are in treatment, some of us are in recovery but we are all SURVIVORS!
When I went to my first HOM Teal Strides, at that point, the only other people I had met with ovarian cancer were at the clinic. At the walk, we’re all together, on our own territory, connecting with each other – it’s what life is all about.
What’s the best part of the day?
For me, I love the group picture of Coley’s Wolfpack – the group changes from year to year but it is a constant reminder of my support system, our support system of those that are fighting with us to find a cure with MOCA!
Why do you fundraise for HOM Teal Strides – what motivates you? What is your fundraising goal this year?
Finding a cure is my goal! We raised almost $10,000 last year, this year our goal is $15,000. It’s big – but we’re going to go for it.
Can you give us one tip for fundraising?