On Wednesday, August 20, 2014 yet another woman passed away from ovarian cancer. Like most of the women who succumb to the disease, Helen Gardner was someone’s daughter, mother, wife, sister, grandmother, aunt, niece and friend. For everyone who knew Helen, she was an inspiration and a fighter in every sense of the word. She faced ovarian cancer head on. She researched the disease, sought out treatment options to extend her life and made the very most of the five years that she lived with ovarian cancer.
It wasn’t enough for Helen to just fight for her own life. For the past three years, she selflessly focused her efforts on making a lasting difference in the fight against ovarian cancer. Helen wanted to make sure that women in the fight had better treatment options and hope. Hope for a lifetime of celebrations and victories. Hope for a future without worry of disease. Hope for a cure.
Helen partnered with two other survivors and brought Dallas its first-ever indoor cycling event in 2012. The inaugural event raised over $300,000 and funded efforts to make a difference in the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer. Energized by the outpouring of support from riders, donors, survivors and others touched by the event, Helen and three other survivors founded Be the Difference Foundation in August 2012.
Under Helen’s leadership as President, Be the Difference Foundation raised almost $1,000,000 to fund programs to help women in the fight and provide research dollars for a cure. Helen reached out to the sewing industry and created the BTD365 Retail Member Program. She also raised awareness of ovarian cancer and its signs and symptoms by speaking at events around the country.
Stephen Wolf once said, “Each of us can look back upon someone who made a great difference in our lives, someone whose wisdom or simple acts of caring made an impression upon us. In all likelihood, it was someone who sought no recognition for their deed other than the joy of knowing that by their hand another’s life had been made better.” For us, that person is Helen Gardner.
Helen made an ever-lasting impact on Be the Difference Foundation. Her fight will not be in vain and we ask that you continue to help us realize Helen’s dream of making a difference in the fight against ovarian cancer.
Donations can be made to Be the Difference Foundation’s Helen Gardner Memorial Fund