Necker’s Gift of Giving salutes Norma Leah Ovarian Cancer Initiative in Rock Island

ROCK ISLAND -

On a bright September morning, there's a painful realization from the past.

"No one had talked about ovarian cancer," said Jodie Kavensky.  "They only talked about breast cancer."

But a decade later, Kavensky brings ovarian cancer out of the darkness for her mom.

"She said, Jodie, you have to be a voice for us," she recalled.

The Norma Leah Ovarian Cancer Initiative is a family mission.  It's named for her mother and aunt, who both died from it.

"I was the wind beneath her wings during her disease, and she's been the wind beneath my wings getting this off," Kavensky said.

A decade after starting, it's tough to find Jodie in the office.  That's because September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month - more like action month.

"Ovarian cancer does not have a screening test as of yet, so knowledge is power," she said.

Items for sale or display feature a teal theme.  That's the color for ovarian cancer awareness..

"It's really important for women, especially ovarian cancer survivors, to wear something that signifies they are a survivor," she said.

During this Gift of Giving, a portion of September sales at Necker's Jewelers will benefit Norma Leah, which she appreciates.

Inside the headquarters at 1612 2nd Avenue in Rock Island, jewelry, events and creations support the mission.  Planning is already underway for the 2019 Girls Parts Festival.

"We'll have about 24 community members to create smaller bodices, and then six to create these larger ones," she said.

It all comes back to family, and how her mom would appreciate the progress.

"I think she would be speechless, which would be very difficult for her," Kavensky concluded.

On this day, though, you can feel her warmth in the sunshine.

For more information: http://www.NormaLeah.org