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Remembering Bev

Remembering Bev

Tuesday, November 25, 2014/Number of views (1567)/Comments (0)

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I write today with a heavy, angry heart. Ovarian cancer snatched another wonderful life away yesterday leaving our community diminished and torn.

We met Beverly Reynolds a couple of years ago, after her diagnosis -- we chatted on the phone and in a way that was her hallmark, she jumped right into the OvCa community with a passion to fight. She came to Survivors Teaching Students sessions. At STS we speak to nursing and med students about our diagnoses and put a face on ovarian cancer. Statistics show that educating health care professionals positively impacts survivorship. It is not easy to talk about the worst thing that ever happened to you in front of a roomful of students. Med students generally look overworked and anxious, so it is hard to tell if they are actually bored and annoyed at having to sit through our stories. It is so important to us... but important to them? Can't tell. (We get lots of notes later saying that our presentation is really meaningful, so don't worry).

Not only does Bev get up in front of a roomful of strangers to tell her story, she does so with great eloquence and poise, and boy, does she look fantastic. Beautifully put together, always. I stopped wearing jeans when she started coming.

Then, I talked to Bev about CancerDancer and, boom, she wants to be involved and within months she is serving on our Board. She is hands on, getting things done, putting forth ideas and offering her gallery for events.

Last spring, I was heading to Washington DC to testify before the FDA about an important new drug, Olaparib. I want it approved, as it has helped me and others battling this lousy cancer. I told Bev the day before the trip. "Can I go?" she said. "Sure." And she trucked up there with me to see the process. The FDA said no, but hopefully will approve it with the next application.

When SU2C needed to find a story to tell the tale of why we must fund research, they picked Bev. They understood that OvCa snatches people upon whom communities and loving families are built, like Bev's. Bev, of course, insisted I come over when they were filming her to share the experience.


In reading the obituaries for my friend, in Style and the Times Dispatch, it was clear that throughout her marvelous career as a conduit for contemporary art to an entire city, her jump-in and get it done attitude inspired us all.

When confronted with cancer, many people keep their condition close, they don't want to put their pain, their fear, their frailty out into the world. This is a reasonable and understandable choice, but Bev always reached out. She reached out by writing an op ed piece during Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, she reached out with CancerDancer, she reached out with SU2C. She was Bev, and she reached out.

Bev, we loved you, we will miss you and we will continue to jump in and reach out in honor of that amazing spirit that believed that by rolling up our sleeves we could make things better for ourselves, our neighbors and folks we don't even know. Thanks for sharing your light with us.

So, CancerDancer will be making a $1000.00 donation to SU2C Ovarian Cancer Dream Team in Bev's memory. We are proud to do so.

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