The Newberry Street fountain has been dyed teal once again to promote ovarian cancer awareness.
A campaign to educate people nationwide about the signs and effects of ovarian cancer kicked off earlier this month. In Aiken, the Newberry Street fountain is dyed teal, the color of ovarian cancer awareness, each year at the end of August as part of the local campaign.
The event is done in honor of Debbie Mills' daughter, Abigail, who lost her battle with ovarian cancer in 2007, four months after being diagnosed. She was in her 30s.
Because the symptoms of ovarian cancer can sometimes present similarly to numerous other health issues, such as menstrual pains or general fatigue, it can be easy to confuse the warning signs.
Mills, founder of Gail's Anatomy, has made it her mission to raise awareness about ovarian cancer so women can be aware of the possible symptoms.
Mills said the focus of this year's campaign, done in partnership with Gail's Anatomy and AECOM, would be signs and billboards to raise education and awareness in her daughter's hometown of Jackson in Aiken County.
"Ovarian cancer is known as the deadliest gynecologic cancer in the US, given that it is not usually detected or diagnosed until it has reached advanced stages," Mills said.
"... Unlike other cancers – survival rates for ovarian cancer over the past 40 years have not improved."
September was first designated National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in 2015 by former President Barack Obama in a national proclamation.
"Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month was started to bring much-needed attention to this mostly unknown disease," Mills said. "The focus people should take away from this month are knowing the symptoms, knowing your risks, and knowledge is power; and, in this case, knowledge can save your life or that of someone you love."
About 80 percent of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer only learn they have it once the illness is in its advanced stages, according to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.
On Thursday night, cheerleaders at Silver Bluff High School will be using teal pompoms for the awareness campaign. Gail's Anatomy also will be providing teal Mardi Gras beads to be given out to the crowd and along with teal bookmarks.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer include pelvic or abdominal pain, constipation, fatigue, and back pain. About 1 in 78 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime.
To learn more about Gail's Anatomy, visit ovariancancerawareness4life.org.