In January, 2008, I had the singular pleasure of co-producing a media event in Charleston, SC, with meeting planner, friend and passionate advocate, Veronica Walsh. It was V’s idea: Take the media attraction of the world’s best women pool players, mix it with the power to reach thousands of women via Charleston’s Center for Women, and get the word out on an insidious “silent killer” — Ovarian Cancer.
I agreed in an instant (Veronica wouldn’t have taken “no” as an answer even if I hadn’t!) But it all fell into place: My long-time roommate on tour, WPBA Hall of Famer Vicki Paski, is also an ovarian cancer survivor, as was another close friend, Terry Scharstein, who’d been a teacher in the gifted program to both my children. (Terry helped us with the event, established Lowcountry Women with Wings following the event, then passed away later that year, August 27th, a scant few weeks after her “55 and Still Alive” birthday celebration…)
The event was a huge success, thanks to the hard work of Veronica and her team; the Center for Women, led by another close friend, Jennet Alterman; and sixteen of the world’s best women pool players, who volunteered their own time and talents to take the message to thousands of women throughout the lowcountry.
Today, three years later (in fact, just one day shy of the anniversary of our 2008 Chix with Stix gathering), the Walsh family honors beloved Veronica in a life celebration. Yes, sadly after our event, Veronica’s own battle against OC began again. She fought back with the bravery of any modern superhero, but at 46 years old lost the battle on January 6th, surrounded by people who loved her.
Terry and Veronica may have lost their battles, but thanks to their shouting in the face of this silent killer, they haven’t lost the war. That war still rages through the foundations they established to reach women and their families, to educate women about symptoms and early detection, and to counsel those fighting their own battles.
Veronica’s foundation is Listen, It Whispers. Terry’s is Lowcountry Women with Wings. I encourage you to visit both sites and learn more about these great ladies and the legacies they’ve left us all to spread the word and ultimately win the war against ovarian cancer.