Banner placed in West Point in recognition of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Published 7:38 am Wednesday, September 7, 2022

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WEST POINT — A banner was placed in J. Smith Lanier II Park in downtown West Point Friday recognizing September as National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Every year on the eve of Labor Day weekend, a group of local women get together to put up the banner, which has a two-fold purpose — to raise awareness about the continuing danger of getting ovarian cancer and to remember their friend Lori Fawbush, who died in April 2018 after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer.

Seeing the banner going up on Friday morning were Ellen Collins, Martha Scott, Michael Andrews, Terri Darden and Judy Van Zant. Setting it up were Marshall Sapp and Ron Van Zant.

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Lori’s friends were wearing teal and white t-shirts Lori had given them. They bore the message “Bent but not Broken.”

Lori touched many lives before her passing four years ago now. She left some wonderful memories for her friends. They will never forget her for her loving nature, her passion to help others and her tireless efforts to promote awareness of ovarian cancer.

Lori was a member of the Teal Magnolias in Opelika and was active in all their events. Every year before Labor Day, she would enlist the help of friends in placing teal ribbons on utility poles along Highway 29 from West Point to Valley. 

“She kept bags and bags of those ribbons,” said Martha Scott.

More than 20,000 American women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year. Early detection is the key to survival. According to, if a woman is diagnosed in the earliest stage, her chances of survival are rated at 90 percent or more. If it goes undetected for a year or more, the odds drop to 50-50. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 24,000 American women will die of ovarian cancer this year.

Regular medical check-ups and knowing the risk factors that rise with advancing age are important steps women should be aware of.

Ovarian cancer can strike women of all ages, races and backgrounds. Many well-known actresses have been touched by it. Jessica Tandy, who received an Academy Award for her role in “Driving Miss Daisy” died of ovarian cancer at age 85 in 1994. She was also nominated for the Best Supporting Role for an actress for “Fried Green Tomatoes” in 1991. Her co-star in that film, Kathy Bates, has survived both ovarian cancer and breast cancer. She won an Oscar for her role in “Misery” in 1990. Well-known celebrities such as Loretta Young, Dinah Shore, Madeline Kahn and Gilda Radner died of ovarian cancer as did civil rights icon Coretta Scott King.

The National Ovarian Coalition has an awareness campaign every September. The focus is on early awareness of symptoms, genetic predisposition and having better early detection tests. For more information, go to