Central Square seniors host HOOPS for Heather to raise awareness for ovarian cancer

Local News

CENTRAL SQUARE, NY (WSYR-TV) — For the past three years, Alli Sorderkonz has been volunteering at her high school in Central Square to raise awareness about Hope for Heather, a non-profit dedicated to raising funds and awareness about ovarian cancer. Thursday was Alli’s big fundraising night at the Central Square basketball game.

“For the past three or four years, I’ve been doing tables to try and raise a little money here and there and get the awareness out at our lunches,” Alli Sorderkonz, a HOOPS for Heather co-organizer, said. “This year because we are the seniors, we get to pick what we want, and we decided to dedicate a basketball game to them.”

Alli and Carli, an organizer of the event, got over 30 businesses to donate items to be raffled off at the game, and people could also buy T-shirts that Alli and Carli helped design.

“We have our normal Flock shirts that the student section wears, and we turned them teal for ovarian cancer, because that’s the color that is represented with their foundation,” Carli Gipe, a HOOPS for Heather co-organizer said.

The Hope for Heather foundation was started after Heather Weeks, an ovarian cancer advocate, died of the disease at 24 years old. Heather’s parents started the foundation as a way to continue their daughter’s legacy and spread awareness about the disease.

“Many times because it is misdiagnosed, it’s too late,” Hope for Heather President Frieda Weeks said. “So, it’s diagnosed in late stage three, late stage four, and it makes the survival rate very difficult.”

There is no test for ovarian cancer, so knowing the symptoms is the most important thing a woman can do.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Pressure in the pelvis or lower back area
  • Increased abdominal girth
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in bowel movement

Weeks said, “You never know what life is going to be saved, or what lives you’re going to touch, just by handing out a symptom card and information. Because there are only warning signs for ovarian cancer, there is no test for it, so women have to be very proactive.”

Alli and Carli were not concerned about how much money they raised, they were just happy to spread the message.

“With schools, we can reach the children, but to reach people who are actually going to be affected by this is our goal,” Sorderkonz said. “So, to have the parents and the order forms going home for the shirts, gets everybody really involved, and knowing what’s going on, that’s the real success.”

If you’d like to make a donation to Hope for Heather you can do so right on their website.

For more local news, follow Anthony Scott on Twitter @A_Scott17

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