Wine Testing To Benefit Ovarian Cancer Coalition

The Wheeling Satellite of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition is scheduled to hold a wine tasting fundraiser from 6-8 p.m. Saturday at Casa di Vino in the Centre Market area.

The group’s second fundraising event, the ”Marti Wood Stephan Ovarian Cancer Awareness 5K,” is planned for 9 a.m. Sept. 21 at Bridge Street Middle School in Wheeling. For more information about the events or ovarian cancer, call Wheeling resident Denny Stephan at 304-281-8550.

The race is named after Stephan’s wife, Martha, who died from the disease Sept. 26, 2011, at 69 years old. Wood is helping spread awareness of the disease’s symptoms with help from the coalition. The money raised during the fundraisers is used to create pamphlets and other materials to educate people about ovarian cancer. They can be obtained by calling Wood.

”We’re keeping it going and we want to educate physicians, too,” he said.

His wife’s first trip to the doctor about her symptoms were dismissed as ”gas,” he said. By the time she was properly diagnosed, the disease had progressed to Stage 4.

Because there is no early detection test, Wood said it is important for women to pay attention to changes in their body. If the following signs and symptoms persist for more than two weeks, a woman should see her gynecologist: bloating; pelvic or abdominal pain; trouble eating or feeling full quickly; feeling the need to urinate urgently or often; fatigue; upset stomach or heartburn; back pain; pain during sex; and constipation or menstrual changes.

Wood said the Wheeling chapter decided to model its wine tasting after the Pittsburgh coalition’s event. The cost covers wine and cheese. To register, call Wood at 304-281-8550.

Meanwhile, the 5K event in the fall includes a competitive walk and run and non-competitive walk for those who just want some exercise.

This is the third year for the race that is held on Heritage Trail near Mason Rehab in Elm Grove.

”It is timed, and we do have awards. About 350 people attend usually,” he noted.

Applications for the race are available at Hole N Run in Wheeling and Runners Connection in Bellaire or can be obtained by mail by calling Wood.

”So far, we’ve raised $15,000 (in the past three years). We expect to raise another $5,000 this year,” Wood said.

The pap test women receive at their doctor’s office is not used to detect ovarian cancer; it only detects cervical cancer. And having breast cancer – which Martha Stephan had fought six years before – is an ovarian cancer risk factor. Other risk factors include a personal or family history of colon cancer, increasing age, a genetic predisposition and undesired infertility.