August 19, 2008
While tending to her garden this spring, Nancy Johnson felt a strange pain in her stomach. The pain grew intense and her doctor told her to visit an emergency room.
It was that day, May 22, in the ER, the Georgia State University College of Law librarian and professor was told she had ovarian cancer.
Reading the statistics, she said, made the outlook seem bleak. The American Cancer Society estimated there were some 22,000 new cases diagnosed in 2007, and about 15,000 deaths.
Johnson's now being treated at an Atlanta hospital with a reputation for quality treatment of the disease.
"When I first was diagnosed, I thought oh my God, this is it. But that 's not true at all because the care is so good," she said.
As word of her battle spread to friends and colleagues, Team Nancy was formed.
Team Nancy is raising money for the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance 's third annual Overcome Ovarian Cancer Walk next month in Alpharetta.
Ann Puckett, the director of the University of Georgia Law School library and a professor of law, has been instrumental in establishing the now 15-person walking team and spreading word of the fundraising efforts by alerting regional and national law librarian groups whose members continue to contribute. She said it was a way to support Johnson, a friend of 30 years, because "I can 't do anything to make the disease go away."
Earlier this week the team, which includes Georgia State 's Ron Wheeler, the law library 's associate director for public services, had an easy lead in the fundraising effort with more than $6,100 raised. The team was also tied for the most walkers set to participate in the event.
"Friends and well-wishers didn 't have anything tangible to do" to support Johnson, Wheeler said. "And this is sort of a way to do that."
Johnson has been thrilled with the work of Team Nancy, and hopes the event brings a heightened awareness of the disease, which is difficult to detect in its early stages.
"It really has helped me raise my spirits and made me feel really great," Johnson said of the team. "I just really appreciate their efforts."
The 5K walk will take place Saturday, Sept. 13, at Sanctuary Park in Alpharetta. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m.
For more information or to donate, please visit the Overcome Ovarian Cancer Walk Web site