Deb Stevens was inspired to start the Feel Teal Club “after the loss of my dear mother to the disease,” she recalls. Deb published her first book and dedicated the proceeds to cancer research. Shortly after, she says, “I joined up with an Australian based ovarian cancer network, hosting events to raise the level of awareness in and around my community.”
Although she enjoyed assisting others, Deb says “I didn’t feel I was using my full potential, so I decided to go it alone—I ventured into the world wide web, creating my first website, Debsquest, offering support to others who had been touched by the disease, sharing experiences and information.” Deb used her creativity to help raise awareness of ovarian cancer and funds for research, publishing a range of books that benefited her work—everything from poetry to short stories to children’s books.
In September 2009, with the help of many friends and connections, Deb launched a campaign called Feel Teal & Dance Again for Ovarian Cancer Awareness. As she recalls “A host of musicians and artists got on board to support! Once the campaign ran its course, the idea to create an ongoing campaign began, and in March 2010, the Feel Teal Club was born.” Now the Feel Teal Club is dedicated to raising awareness of ovarian cancer year round—as the group’s website says: “7 days a week, 52 weeks a year”—until a test for early detection is found.
Many of the Feel Teal Club’s supporters are artists, including musicians, comedians and authors. In 2011, a special song was written and recorded to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. “One Last Chance” can be heard on the Feel Teal Club website; the accompanying video shows photos of women with ovarian cancer and their supporters, as well as facts about the disease.
While it is based in Australia, the Feel Teal Club has supporters all around the globe. Volunteers recently teamed up with members of the US-based We Fight Like a Girl to create squares for an ovarian cancer quilt. The group celebrates both survivors and supporters through a “Titans of Teal” program—a dedicated website that honors those with ovarian cancer and their loved ones. The goal of Titans of Teal, Deb explains, is to unite “women to ‘pay it forward’ by educating others.”
The Feel Teal Club became a Partner Member of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance in 2013. “I am absolutely honored to be a part of another global initiative!” says Deb.