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Two '85 Bears come to LITH to support ovarian cancer awareness

Published: Monday, July 14, 2014 7:05 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 12:08 p.m. CDT
(H. Rick Bamman)
H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com 1985 Super Bowl Champ and former Chicago Bears player Steve "Mongo" McMichael (right) offers club selection advice to Karl Klepitsch during the Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness Golf Tournament on Monday, July 14 at Boulder Ridge Country Club in Lake in the Hills.

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Former Bears defensive tackle Steve McMichael knows how important ovarian cancer awareness can be.

That's why he was in Lake in the Hills on Monday, supporting the Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness Organization at the Boulder Ridge Country Club along with fellow 1985 Super Bowl-winning Bear Jim Morrissey.

“My wife had a little thing taken off her ovary about 10 years ago,” McMichael said. “We caught it in time and she’s fine. That’s a story for everybody. If you catch it early, you’re fine. You can do something about it, but if you wait, it could be too late.”

The golf tournament was the OCSA’s second annual one hosted by the country club. The organization also partnered with the Veterinary Outreach Program to help raise funds.

“I’m out here today to add support to a cause that needs awareness in the community,” Morrissey said. “Part of the role of a Chicago Bears alumni is to give back to the community.”

Besides the golf outing, attendees participated in a live and silent auction.

OCSA co-founder Vallie Szymanski started the process of creating the event with Susan Roman and Roman’s husband Rick nearly four years ago after Susan was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Wanting to help others, the three set out to raise awareness about the silent symptoms that most women tend not to notice.

Susan Roman died of ovarian cancer a year and a half ago.

“Our mission is to save a life,” Szymanski said. “If we can do it by getting someone’s attention, whether it’s someone’s mother or sister, that’s our mission.”

Szymanski said her organization partnered with the Outreach Program because of the connection between women and veterinarians.

“[The majority] of veterinarians are women, and 80 percent of people who take their dogs to veterinarians are women,” she said. “What we’ve learned from our friends in the pet community, women start talking about their own health problems to their veterinarians because they feel safe.”

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