The water of the Newberry Street fountain was dyed teal Friday in honor of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.
The event was put on by Gail’s Anatomy and AECOM.
“Bringing awareness to ovarian cancer is our goal,” said Debbie Mills, founder of Gail’s Anatomy. “Having the fountain teal in Aiken brings so much awareness to ovarian cancer.”
For Mills, the battle to bring awareness to women about ovarian cancer is personal. In 2007, Mills’ only daughter, Abigail, lost her battle with ovarian cancer.
Gail, as she was known to her mother, was an Aiken native who graduated from Silver Bluff High School. She attended USC Aiken and USC in Columbia, and worked in an executive position for Target.
Gail began experiencing back pain, an upset stomach and fatigue. After a routine annual physical, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Less than four months later, she passed away.
Debbie Mills’ goal now is to save lives by spreading awareness about the disease. Campaigns such as dyeing public fountains teal, like the one on Newberry Street, are one of the ways they educate people.
Ovarian cancer can dangerous because its symptoms can often be attributed to numerous other causes, such as menstrual issues, stomach problems, or general fatigue. Ovarian cancer cannot be detected by a gynecological exam.
“Early detection saves lives,” Mills said.
Among the attendees were local health officials and community leaders, including members of City Council.
“Ovarian cancer awareness is critical,” said City Councilwoman Lessie Price, who was present at the event. “It’s life-saving for so many… Over the years, it has created great awareness.”
For more information about ovarian cancer, visit ovariancancerawarenessf4life.org.