Tell me about yourself and why you created a team to run/walk Laura’s Smile Mile.

My name is Shannon Krueger-Karashinski. In December 2012, I was diagnosed with Stage II LMP Ovarian Cancer at age 36. I was very fortunate to have the disease caught in the type and stage it was, and was able to have the tumor removed surgically with no need to undergo chemo nor radiation.

Before December 2012, I had never heard of Ovarian Cancer. Once I learned about the risk factors, symptoms and statistics for those diagnosed, I became frustrated by the fact I had never heard anything about it – especially with there not being a screening for it. Since I am a person who tries very hard to find a reason for things happening in life, my takeaway from this experience was “what can I do to help spread awareness, help women be aware of their bodies’ “whispers” and give back?”

After my surgery recovery in winter of 2013, I started searching for anything in Wisconsin I could participate in for awareness. I discovered Laura’s Smile Foundation and Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance. Laura’s Smile Mile was the first event I found I could participate in. I invited a friend to join me. The event was just wonderful – it felt like a warm inviting family picnic with a special cause. After completing the event, I knew I wanted to organize a team the next year, and share the experience with others.

What is the story behind the name, “Teal Tenacity?”

I chose this name as I wanted something to signify the mission of bringing awareness to Ovarian Cancer.

  • Teal for the awareness color
  • Tenacity for being persistent, sticking together as a group and never giving up

How many people will be participating with the team? Will you be doing something special like team t-shirts, signs,etc.?

So far, I have about 15 confirmed team members consisting of close friends, family and colleagues. This year I am also honored and excited to have a number of colleagues join me as part of a company effort to support Laura’s Smile Foundation and Ovarian Cancer Awareness. The company has a connection to Laura’s family, and shared this event through their Health and Wellness committee to promote participation.

Our team members will have teal beads, ribbon tattoos, and stickers. I’ll be encouraging the ladies to paint fingernails teal as well.

Here is a team photo from last year.

Anything else you would like to add?

I’m hopeful by creating a team and telling others about the symptoms and risk factors, we can help more women to recognize signs, see their doctors, ask questions, and catch the disease earlier.

For the second year in a row, my mom, aunt and I raised funds at my mom’s sale requesting donations from some items toward our team. It was another heart warming weekend to help spread the word, and meet so many people willing to support the cause! I’ve added a photo of the donation tent.

Thank you so much for organizing this wonderful event! I am hopeful it grows more every year!