(FOX 9) - You’ll likely be noticing the color teal popping up across the metro and the state for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
Thursday night was the start of 18 landmarks across Minnesota lighting up the night in teal, something that will continue throughout this month.
In years passed, a fun-filled walk with about 3,000 participants helped brings attention and fundraising dollars to the 22,000 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year. Mary Pat Oslund was one of them 15 years ago. She considers herself one of the lucky ones.
"Most women are unfortunately diagnosed in late stages of this disease," she explained. "Over 80 percent, unfortunately. So that is why it’s so critical for us to keep moving this forward. And raising money for research, because we desperately need an early detection test."
Forced to get extra creative during the pandemic, on Saturday the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance will be hosting a drive-thru car parade at the state fairgrounds instead of their traditional walk.
"Anyone diagnosed with cancer, it’s such a challenging experience anyway and then to have this pandemic. People are just feeling so isolated. And that’s why we really wanted to do this tomorrow. Because we think it will be a great safe event. Where we can still gather together."
Later this month, two galas previously planned for the spring and fall will be replaced with a free virtual event and online auction. While moving events online has become somewhat of a new norm for nonprofits, Oslund says these opportunities for outreach are too critical for those closely impacted by this terrible form of cancer.
"We feel this is a great way to show support," said Oslund, "Still raise money for research because that’s critically important and gather safely."
For more information and how to participate in the drive-thru event on Saturday, you can visit mnovarian.org.