High-heeled sprint helps victims of ovarian cancer
For the second consecutive year, Upper Arlington residents Chrissie Landolfi and Christina Klein will hold a birthday celebration they hope will help their guests enjoy many more of their own birthdays to come.
The second annual Birthday Bash/Stiletto Dash will be held Sept. 7 at Our Lady of Victory Church, 1559 Roxbury Road in Marble Cliff.
Sept. 7 is both Landolfi and Klein's birthday and also happens to be this year's National Wear Teal Day, teal being the color used to help raise ovarian cancer awareness.
The local event will benefit the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Ohio.
"Both Christina and I have been touched by ovarian cancer," Landolfi said. "My mother died of the disease and Christina is a nine-year ovarian cancer survivor."
The pair were "acquaintances, but not close friends" and didn't realize they shared that connection until each realized the other was wearing teal-colored toenail polish at a mutual friend's wedding, she said.
"We have a lot in common -- the same birthday, we're both mothers of three children and we have the same given first name of Christina, as well as having been impacted by ovarian cancer," Landolfi said.
The pair decided they wanted to do something to help raise awareness about the disease and its symptoms, she said.
"Many people don't discover they have the disease until it's too late," Landolfi said. "I was thinking about doing something that would involved maybe 20 people, but Christina thinks a lot bigger."
The inaugural Birthday Bash/Stiletto Dash was held last September at Klein's home. More than 200 women attended and ran down her driveway wearing high heels.
"We wanted to do something that was lighthearted in tone, even though the cause is so serious," Landolfi said.
Attendees were asked to make a donation and more than $10,000 was raised and donated to three area cancer treatment centers in the form of iPads and iTunes cards that patients can use to help make going through their treatments a little easier, she said.
"We're hoping to have twice as many people attend this year's event and raise double the money," Landolfi said.
Registration and socializing will begin at 11 a.m. Sept. 7, with the dash through Our Lady of Victory's parking lot beginning at noon.
"We will have heats, then the final race, and the winner will be able to be recognized on a platform that is being provided by the Upper Arlington Civic Association," Landolfi said.
Three Upper Arlington-area trainers will be timing the races, she said.
Following the dash, a lunch and short program about ovarian cancer will be held in Our Lady's Parish Life Center, Landolfi said.
Upper Arlington firefighters will be standing by at the event to provide assistance in case of "ankle emergencies," she said.
"The dash is only a short distance, but it is a bit of a challenge to run in your high heels," Landolfi said.
While online invitations have been sent out to friends and community members, the event is open to the public, she said.
"We want as many people to attend as we can get," Landolfi said.
Anyone wanting to attend the Birthday Bash/Stiletto Dash can submit reservations via the event's website, makeanoiseforoc.com, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"One out of every 75 women will get the disease," Landolfi said. "Breast cancer gets a lot of attention, but this 'below-the-belt' stuff doesn't get as much attention as it should, because ovarian cancer affects so many people and their families."
Those attending the event can make their financial donation in advance via the website or on the day of the event, she said.
Sponsors are being sought, as are donated items for a raffle that will be held that day, Landolfi said.
More information about the event and sponsorship opportunities is available at the website, as is a list of the common symptoms of ovarian cancer.