Teal Diva: An Update on the Organization

Life for Shannon Routh is going super.  With the combination of her determined attitude and “sunshiny” spirit, nothing can stop the Teal Diva.  So how are things going with her organization?  Let’s find out!

According to Shannon, this year “Teal Diva is off to a great start.”  The organization has officially applied for non-profit status and is on track to fulfill their mission, once again, through actions such as: donating to research, highlighting smaller non-profit organizations, and raising awareness.  Shannon has already spoken three times this year on behalf of Teal Diva, and hopes to “add more to the calendar.” (Need an excellent speaker who is both fun and inspiring?  Ask Shannon!  Contact her through the Teal Diva website today).

A golf tournament called “Golfing Fore Good,” hosted by Enterprise Rent A Car will take place on Wednesday, May 18th in Monroe, NC.  Do you, and/or someone you know in the area, love to golf?  Be sure to register; don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

In addition to Golfing Fore Good, there will be a bridal event hosted in Charlotte, NC by a local event planner.  All proceeds from this event will be donated to Teal Diva.  Shannon said that she and the Teal Diva team are “working diligently with other organizations, survivors, and caretakers to plan several events in August and September.”

As mentioned in the latest Teal Diva article, Teal Diva: An Update on the Diva, Shannon, her husband J.J., and two friends plan to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro later this year.  To start off in the right spirit they will depart on National Teal Day.  Their guide is from Charlotte, NC as well.  He, too, is passionate about ovarian cancer awareness as he lost his wife to the disease only five years ago.

A goal for the future, Shannon says, is to create a video for those beginning, or going through, treatment for ovarian cancer.  The video would serve as an inspiration to viewers.  She also said that she would love to someday create a book that tells about her personal journey.

Inspired by Teal Diva?  Great things are certainly in store for this amazing organization’s future.  Want to learn more?  Be sure to visit Teal Diva’s website where it will tell you all you need to know about the organization, as well as provide an opportunity through one of its tabs for viewers to make a donation.  Also, be sure to check out the Teal Diva series.  Show your support for teal today!

Abby Bryant is an intern with College Lifestyles™.  She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Georgia College & State University®, where she was also the president of her sororitySigma Alpha Omega®.   She is blessed to call Shannon a friend and is excited to hear about all of her adventures to come!

Teal Diva: Super Ideas of How to be a Supportive Friend

Teal Diva Founder Shannon Routh speaking at Sigma Alpha Omega's® 3rd Annual Ovarian Cancer Walk (Photo by: Khaliah Shaw)

After being diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 32, Teal Diva founder Shannon Routh is ready to “paint the world teal” and inform everyone of the “Silent Killer”.  Sharing the facts are easy, but sharing the experience brings a whole new light to the disease.  Shannon says, “I am a real person.  Most times when you hear about a person with cancer they are either young or older.  I am a person that may not do everything right but (I) live an ok lifestyle.  According to those close to us, this shouldn’t have happened to me.  My husband and I married in our late twenties and were coming up on our 3rd wedding anniversary.  The opportunity for us to bare children is gone, but the opportunity to adopt isn’t.”

Shannon Leading the First Lap of Sigma Alpha Omega's® 3rd Annual Ovarian Cancer Walk--I had the pleasure of walking by her side. (Photo by: Khaliah Shaw)

From talking to Shannon personally, she shared that there were days she could not have gotten through without the constant support of her family and friends.  When a friend is diagnosed with cancer Shannon offers words of advice: “Don’t lose touch, don’t be afraid of them.”

Shannon’s 6 Support Tips:

Shannon's sister Tina has been by her side throughout Shannon's entire journey (Photo by: Khaliah Shaw)

1. Offer to go to appointments – Simply your presence can make a world of difference.  Having someone to talk to in the waiting room, or to hold your hand in the examination room, can make doctor’s appointments significantly better.

Shannon and her friends had a "Coming Out of My Hair" party (Photo from: Teal Diva)

2. Throw a girls party – Get creative!  Throw a “teal-themed” party and have a blast with your closest girlfriends.

(Photo from Google Images)

3. Send encouraging cards – Despite the fact that we live in a technologically advanced world, take time to send “snail mail.”  It can remain as a keepsake for years of encouragement.

(Photo from Google Images)

4. Offer to clean her house – Cleaning for your friend gives her one less worry and gives her more time to do the things that she enjoys.

(Photo from Google Images)

5. Start a “food chain” – This will give your friend a reason to get out of bed and a chance to catch up one-on-one with friends, while saving her the trouble of cooking dinner.

(Photo from Google Images)

6. Create personalized awareness bracelets – Create a teal bracelet with a phrase that represents your friend.  When purchasing, make sure to order enough to share with all of her friends.  Have her friends wear the bracelet when they travel, and make sure they remember to take a picture with it wherever they go.  Shannon says a friend of hers did this and she came out with many funny pictures of where the bracelet had been.

These are just six simple, supportive, and super ways to be a wonderful friend.  Your act of kindness will be a ray of sunshine that lasts for a day, but will be remembered for a lifetime.

Curious to hear more about Shannon’s story and how her organization Teal Diva came to be?  Don’t miss out on my two latest posts: “Teal Diva: Shannon’s Story” and “Teal Diva: A Survivor’s Story of Finding Her Inner Diva”.

Abby Bryant is an intern with College Lifestyles™.  She is a senior marketing major at Georgia College & State University® and is the president of her sorority, Sigma Alpha Omega®.  She finds Shannon’s tips creative and fun, and would love to hear your support ideas, too!

Teal Diva: Shannon’s Story

Teal Diva Founder Shannon Routh (Photo by: www.kristinvining.com)

Imagine taking the vacation of a lifetime and upon your return being haunted with the three most feared words to come from a doctor’s mouth, “You..have..cancer.”  The combination of these three words can change your life in an instant.  Just this happened to Teal Diva founder Shannon Routh.  In the summer of 2009 Shannon took a trip to France with her sister and mother.  The trip was a dream come true, but the unexpected pain that arose during it was not.  While there, Shannon experienced sharp pain in her lower abdomen (that increased as she neared her monthly cycle) and was unable to use the restroom (symptoms she describes as similar to those experienced during your monthly cycle and during a urinary tract infection).  Upon her return to the United States she made a doctor’s appointment to find out what exactly was going on.  To her shock, in September 2009, at the young age of 32, Shannon was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  She immediately became a survivor and over the last year has undergone six cycles of chemotherapy.  On February 16, 2010, Shannon was declared cancer free.  Just this month she had a CT Scan that’s results showed no sign of cancer.

Shannon at Sigma Alpha Omega's® 3rd Annual Ovarian Cancer Walk (Photo by: Khaliah Shaw)

Shannon’s hope is that after hearing her story, you too will want to spread awareness.  “Know the symptoms and don’t ignore the signs (it is so easy to do).  Tell a friend…a family member.”  Don’t limit spreading awareness solely to by word of mouth; there are plenty of ways to rock the color teal, through both clothing and accessories.  As Shannon advises, “don’t be afraid of getting your toe nails painted an odd color.”  Her desire is for everyone to know that “cancer does not discriminate;” it can happen to anyone.  “Ovarian cancer is a silent killer because the symptoms are so similar to things we as women face daily/ monthly in our lives.  There is no screening for ovarian cancer.  Many think going to your annual visit, you are ok but your pap smear tests only for cervical cancer.”

Throughout the entire experience, Shannon has had faith through it all.  She says that her faith has not only remained, but in fact has grown stronger.  “I did not ask why as a question, but (rather) why as an opportunity.  I know that God will not give me more than I can bare and I knew He had plans for me throughout this experience.  I leaned on that understanding a lot.”  I am convinced that if we all had this attitude, the world would have a much more positive outlook on life.

Shannon serves as a role model for many, and an inspiration for all.  Don’t miss out on the story of how her organization Teal Diva came to be:  “Teal Diva: A Survivor’s Story of Finding Her Inner Diva.”

Abby Bryant is an intern with College Lifestyles™.  She is a senior marketing major at Georgia College & State University® and is the president of her sorority, Sigma Alpha Omega®.  Shannon Routh is a special friend that Abby has enjoyed getting to know over the last five months.  Abby admires Shannon’s story and hopes that all readers are now inspired to spread awareness about ovarian cancer.

Teal Diva: A Survivor’s Story of Finding Her Inner Diva

Shannon Routh, Founder of Teal Diva (Photo by K. Mosh Photography)

Have you ever wanted to discover your “inner diva”?  Shannon Routh did just that when she was diagnosed in September 2009 with ovarian cancer.  Instead of letting the disease get the best of her, she chose to create a support organization for women in their 20’s, 30’s, and early 40’s.  Only days after her diagnosis Teal Diva was born.  “Ovarian Cancer is more common in women over 60,” Shannon says.  “Not a lot of info for a young woman diagnosed or a young couple (is available).  An avenue for people to share is so therapeutic.  (I wanted to) give back to the local non-profits that you don’t hear about, the non-profits that exist solely off of prayer.”

Shannon speaking at Sigma Alpha Omega's® 3rd Annual Ovarian Cancer Walk (Photo by K. Mosh Photography)

Her inspiration came from the fact that few support groups targeted she and her husband J.J.’s age range.  As Shannon puts it, “I wanted to be a voice for ovarian cancer.  My husband and I could not find information that pertained to our age group and what was going on with us.  We wanted to relate to other people.”  The organization’s snazzy name “Teal Diva” was formed by both Shannon and her husband.  “So many cancer non-profits are named after someone else (who maybe passed on).  We wanted our name to celebrate those living, and celebrate the memory of those that moved on.  When I think of Teal Diva, I think of every woman that has been affected by this disease.”  Shannon has now spoken publicly three times on behalf of Teal Diva.

www.tealdiva.org (Photo by K. Mosh Photography)

My sorority was privileged enough to have her as our guest speaker at our annual Ovarian Cancer Walk.  Shannon’s story always touches me, whether I hear it from her through writing, during a speaking event, or my favorite, during a personal conversation.  You, too, can hear her story; she enjoys speaking and would be happy to have you contact her.  Shannon is one of the most inspirational women I know, and my hope for her is that her dream of one day “painting the world teal” becomes reality.  “I want someone to think of the color teal and think ‘ovarian cancer,’ in the same way we see the color pink.  I want as much emphasis to be put on ovarian cancer as cervical cancer and breast cancer.  I put Teal Diva solely in God’s hands.  I hope to go where God leads me.”

Curious to know more about ovarian cancer?  Know the facts!  Check out my recent post:

Silencing the ‘Silent Killer’.”

Abby Bryant is an intern with College Lifestyles™.  She is a senior marketing major at Georgia College & State University® and is the president of her sorority, Sigma Alpha Omega®.  Her passion for ovarian cancer awareness only amplifes her support for Teal Diva.  It is an emerging organization that has grown near and dear to her heart, and she looks forward to seeing the impact it makes on lives for years to come.

Awareness Accessories – Let Your Voice Be Heard 24/7

Ovarian Cancer Awareness

During the month of September, College Lifestyles™ offered readers opportunities to increase ovarian cancer awareness in our articles “Silencing the Silent Killer” and “‘Teal’tally in Style – College Lifestyles’ Guide to Rocking the Color Teal This Fall.”  It is my hope that although awareness month is over, your knowledge of ovarian cancer only increases from here.  You may ask, what are good ways to spread awareness?  Take a look at the four awareness pieces I chose.  By wearing one (or two, or three, or all four!) of these accessories, you’ll be guaranteed to show off your support to all those you encounter daily.

Awareness Bracelets

Awareness Bracelets

Made popular in 2004 by the “LiveStrong” awareness bracelets that served as a fundraiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, you can find an awareness bracelet for almost anything under the sun.  In fact, today you can custom create your own silicone bracelets.  Show off your “teal pride” by wearing one that supports ovarian cancer awareness.

Awareness Ribbons

Awareness Ribbons

Awareness ribbons have become quite popular across my university’s campus, as I’m sure is the case with many college campuses.  Pink is among the most commonly spotted, in support of breast cancer, but teal ribbons have begun to make their debut on purses and book bags that I pass daily.  In hopes of raising awareness, my sorority sets up an information table once a month on our campus where we pass out free awareness ribbons, symptom cards, and teal ribbon temporary tattoos.  I love when people ask me what my ribbon stands for; it opens the door for me to share about the philanthropy I am so passionate about.

Awareness Silly Bands

Silly Bands

Ovarian cancer awareness has become a part of the latest craze.  Silly bands are creative, discreet, and worn by people of all ages.  Trading silly bands has also become a popular new fad.  Trading an awareness ribbon band provides wonderful opportunity to share the facts of the “silent killer”.  These can be purchased directly from the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance’s website.

Teal Nail Polish

Teal Nail Polish

Typically we choose red, pink, or a neutral tone of polish to cover our nails, but try going out-of-the-box with a shade of teal.  While this is not appropriate for a business environment, try wearing this sassy color on the weekends.  Better yet, paint your toes teal.  They will be hidden during the work day, but visible when you are relaxing or enjoying a night of socializing.  An organization has been created just for spreading awareness through painting your nails.  Teal Toes® states that their mission is to raise awareness of ovarian cancer “by painting your toenails teal, the ovarian cancer color.  By getting your friends to paint their toenails teal too, and then by talking with people when they ask about it, to make sure they know the signs of this whispering killer.”

Abby Bryant is an intern with College Lifestyles™.  She is a senior marketing major at Georgia College & State University® and is the president of her sorority, Sigma Alpha Omega®.  She likes to add awareness accessories into her everyday wardrobe in hopes of spreading ovarian cancer awareness to all those she encounters.

“Teal”tally in Style – College Lifestyles’ Guide to Rocking the Color Teal This Fall

As this year’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month nears its end, don’t let your “teal pride” die; rock the color all year long to show your support for ovarian cancer while looking super cute.

Floral Sequin Top – $39.80

Pair this stylish top with a pair of dark wash skinny jeans and brown flats.

Tipped Cardigan – $20.00

Accompany this classy cardigan with a white top, dark wash jeans, and silver accessories.

Stunning One Shoulder Dress – $22.80

Perfect for semi-formal or a night out on the town. Add some bronze bangles and a pair of bronze heels.

Cowl Neck Jersey Dress – $29.50

A great dress to bring in the fall – add a pair of brown boots and a simple pair of earrings and you’re ready to go!

Mossimo® Laura Gladiator Sandal – $12.99

Pair these versatile sandals with a dress or a pair of jeans.

Mossimo Supply Co. Ozella Flats – $9.98

As the temperatures drop these teal flats will keep your toes toasty while staying in style.

Geneva Platinum Studded Fashion Watch – $26.99

While black and white claim the two most popular watch colors, be unique and try teal. It is cute, classy, and shows your support for ovarian cancer.

Bueno Washed Soft Pebble East/West Handbag – $39.99

Be bold and branch out from the typical handbag colors. This teal bag will add pizazz to your fall fashions.

Go the extra mile, while staying in style.  The teal says it all.

Did you know that 1 in 71 women will be diagnosed with invasive ovarian cancer in their lifetime?

Know the Facts: Silencing the “Silent Killer”.

Abby Bryant is an intern with College Lifestyles™.  She is a senior marketing major at Georgia College & State University® and is the president of her sorority, Sigma Alpha Omega®.  This fall she hopes to spread awareness about ovarian cancer by stylishly incorporating the color teal into her everyday wardrobe.