Tammy’s Story

From a young age, my life’s passion focused on disease prevention and health promotion. I earned a degree in Public Health and became a licensed registered dental hygienist.

Late 2016, I gradually experienced multiple symptoms which included: decrease in appetite, feeling full after only a few bites, low back pain, bloating, generalized fatigue, intermittent abdominal pain and more frequent bathroom visits. I just had my annual physical and nothing was discovered which made me wonder, why was I feeling this way?

It is compassion from others that pushes us to remain motivated to keep thriving and surviving.

My symptoms continued to increase over time, until one day I felt a large firm mass on the left side of my abdomen. Ultrasound and MRI revealed a large tumor and evential final diagnosis of late stage ovarian cancer.

My world would forever be changed, requiring treatment to start as soon as possible.

Major surgery, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, immunotherapy, ongoing infusions, CT/PET scans, and blood labs became my new normal along with anxiety, uncertainty and isolation.

I had little to no knowledge of ovarian cancer. My story is similar to the 1 in 78 women diagnosed, unaware of the symptoms that whisper. Without even realizing it, I had checked most of the symptoms for ovarian cancer. There currently is NO reliable screen for ovarian cancer! A PAP smear screens only for cervical cancer. The majority of females diagnosed with ovarian cancer are late stage which greatly lowers the chance of survival. Gynecologic cancers (ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal and vulvar) are largely unspoken about and research is massively underfunded. Ovarian cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer related deaths for women and can occur at any age!

Because of these poor statistics, I decided to use my own personal experience and powerful voice to bring awareness of ovarian cancer and support other women who are diagnosed.

When I learned about Northwest Hope & Healing Foundation (NWHH), I knew I had to be involved.

In 2022, I was a ”Life In Color” survivor fashion model representing gynecological cancer. I fully support NWHH mission of providing direct financial assistance for those women requiring everyday basic non-medical essentials during cancer treatments.

Currently, I serve on the NWHH Survivor Advisory Committee. It is an honor to represent a foundation that assists women experiencing physical, mental and financial hardships because of gynecologic or breast cancer diagnosis. For most of us, a cancer diagnosis is the most challenging time of our life. It’s hard to ask for help, but believe me, it is compassion from others that pushes us to remain motivated to keep thriving and surviving, so we can focus on hope and healing.

To learn more about Ovarian Cancer go to www.ovarian.org.