Why I Run Against Ovarian Cancer

Why I Run Against Ovarian Cancer

Dr. Brigitte Barrette after crossing the finish line at last year’s Spring Fling!

4.3.12 Last year, Dr. Brigitte Barrette, a Mayo Clinic gynecologist, raised nearly $4,000 to benefit MOCA and ovarian cancer research through the Spring Fling Diva Dash in Rochester. This year, although Dr. Barrette will be out of a town for a conference on race day, she still plans to run the route and raise money. Dr. Barrette offers a guest blog post about why she runs for ovarian cancer research.

As a physician who takes care of patients with ovarian cancer, I have given bad news more often than I care to. As I grow older the task is not easier, in fact, it only gets more painful. Each time, I am sadder and sorrier.

Even by providing the most updated treatment, I know I will not cure all of my patients. This leaves me asking myself – what more can I do? I know there is data that shows that moderately strenuous physical activity can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. I know that regular physical activity reduces the risk of recurrence in breast, colon and prostate cancer – and maybe soon demonstrated for ovarian cancer. These are all things that I tell my patients.

I wish to lead by example for my patients. So I run in the annual Spring Fling Diva Dash…  it keeps me focused and it challenges me. It made me discover a smile on the faces of my patients, as they ask, “Wow, you are running for MOCA?” To me, there is no better way to tell my patients that I care about them – and, to me, one of the best ways to help them is to raise money for research.

Who do I run for? I run for my patients:  Celia, Rosemary, Emily and so many others. But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself! It’s a breath of fresh air, or as I say in French, C’est une bouffee d’air frais!

This April 29, I’ll be on my way back from a meeting on the genetics of ovarian cancer, so I won’t be present at the Spring Fling Diva Dash. But that’s OK – I’ll be running the course when I’m back in town on May 12.  It is a promise that I will keep.

Have a fun run! Join the runners of the Spring Fling Diva Dash in Rochester on Sunday, April 29 by registering here.

Together in Teal,

Dr. Brigitte Barrette