METUCHEN, NJ – Janice Lopez of Edison was just 59 years old when she finally succumbed to the disease that took her life after nearly a four year battle with ovarian cancer, however, her family has continued the fight in her memory.

On the 5th Anniversary of her passing, her family has organized a fund raising concert in her memory to raise money to support Ovarian Cancer research, education and patient/family support.

The Janice Lopez Ovarian Cancer Foundation Inc. (JLOCF) will present a “Concert For A Cure” featuring the Encore Orchestra of New Jersey directed by Ilene Greenbaum on Saturday, September 13, 2014, at 5 p.m. at the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 17 Oak Ave., Metuchen, NJ.  

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The Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be Miss New Jersey USA Emily Shah while Jane MacNeil, President of the Nationwide Ovarian Cancer Awareness Campaign Turn the Towns Teal, will give the keynote address.

“I am so happy to be a part of this amazing event,” said Miss NJ USA, Emily Shah. “Having my grandmother survive ovarian cancer, breast cancer twice and currently fighting her fourth battle with breast cancer once again, it is an honor to be at this event especially as Miss NJ USA.”

September is also Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. People are encouraged to wear teal which is an acronym which stands for Take Early Action & Live.

The mission of JLOCF is to raise money to support Ovarian Cancer research, education and patient/family support.  To date JLOCF, and its predecessor organization Team JLo, has raised over $50,000 to fight this deadly disease.

“We’ve been donating the lion’s share of what we have raised since we have been incorporated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund,” said Gilbert Lopez, Jr., “We’ve also started this year donating to the Give Women a Lift Foundation.”

This is a fund raising benefit that will also feature a cocktail hour and silent auction.  Tickets are $20.00 for general admission. 

Some of the silent auction items include:

  • A private tour of the U.S. Capitol Building with Congressman Leonard Lance
  • Private wine tasting for up to eight people at Unionville Vineyards
  • Foursome of Golf – Metuchen Country Club
  • Somerset Patriots tickets
  • Fender Squier Telecaster Electric Guitar

For more information and to purchase tickets visit Janice Lopez Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

The Janice Lopez Story

Janice Lopez was affectionately known as "JLo.” She was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer in December 2005 and was not expected to see the next Spring.  Despite this grim news, she fought bravely for close to four years until her passing on September 6, 2009.

“She was with us through everything, up until the end,” said her son, Chuck Lopez, a music teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in Edison. “She got to be here for a lot of great things that we didn’t think she was going to make it to.”

Janice was born in Manhattan and had previously lived in Bronx before moving to Edison where she lived for 32 years.

In her youth she worked as a secretary for McGraw Hill publishing before settling down with her husband, Gilbert E. Lopez, Jr., and starting a family. Together they had three sons, Gilbert C, Charles, and Andrew.

Her children were her passion and because of this she was a full time stay-at-home mom. Eventually her children married and gave her seven grandchildren: Scott, Meghan, Noah, Elie, Jack, Jonah, and Josephine. As much as she loved her kids, she loved her grandchildren even more.

After being diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer in December of 2005 she did her absolute best not to slow down. She continued traveling each summer to the beach, was always visiting family, and lived her life the way she wanted to.

While some might have said that she lived with ovarian cancer, she would probably say, "Ovarian Cancer lived with me."

About Ovarian Cancer

Facts

  • 1 out of every 73 women will be diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer is the fifth leading cause of death among women in the United States and is the most deadly of the gynecologic cancers.
  • It is estimated that in 2014, 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 15,500 will die from the disease.
  • Currently, 50% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer die from the disease within five years.
  • When diagnosed in advanced stages, the five year survival rate is only 44%.
  • When ovarian cancer is detected early, before it has spread beyond the ovaries, more than 90% of women will survive longer than five years.
  • Only 19% of women are diagnosed in the early stages.
  • Ovarian cancer is often difficult to diagnose because symptoms may be subtle, are easily confused with other diseases and because there is no single reliable easy-to-administer screening tool.

Symptoms

  • Abdominal pressure, a feeling of fullness or bloating.
  • Changes in bladder or bowel habits.
  • Pelvic discomfort or pain.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Persistent lack of energy.
  • Low back pain.

Risk Factors

  • Family history of ovarian, uterine or colorectal or breast cancer.
  • Risk increases with age.
  • Women who have a child are at a lower risk for developing Ovarian Cancer.

Treatment Options

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation

While there is no sure fire method for detecting Ovarian Cancer the CA-125 blood test is an reliable indicator for patients who have been treated for Ovarian Cancer.

Staging for Ovarian Cancer

  • STAGE 1 - Cancer is confined to one or both ovaries.
  • STAGE 2 - Cancer is in one or both ovaries and has spread to other areas of the pelvis.
  • STAGE 3 - Cancer is in one or both ovaries and has spread to nearby lymph nodes and/or outside the pelvis to the abdomen.
  • STAGE 4 - Cancer has spread to one or both ovaries and has spread outside the pelvis and abdomen to other areas of the body