By  Carey Fitzmaurice

How much thought do you give to your nail polish color, or notice what color others are wearing? We hope that in September, you will polish with a purpose.

Teal is the color of ovarian cancer awareness and September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. We hope you will join the Teal Toes campaign, paint your toes teal and, when folks ask, tell them why you did it!

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2012, about 22,280 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed and 15,500 women will die of ovarian cancer in the United States.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are easy to overlook. They are:
Bloating that is persistent
Eating less and feeling fuller
Abdominal or pelvic pain
Trouble with your bladder (urgency or frequency of urination)

A pap smear doesn’t test for ovarian cancer. A family history of breast cancer might also mean you have a higher risk of ovarian cancer. Overall, know your body and see a doctor if something doesn’t feel right. Go back if the feeling persists.

I was 37 when I was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer. I had surgery to remove everything (complete hysterectomy plus stuff I didn’t even know I had) the day before my youngest turned 3. I have been through multiple rounds of chemo and further surgeries over the last 6+ years but I am still here.

Teal Toes began at the elementary school bus stop. I had just found out my cancer was back, it was right before Labor Day and I had painted my toes teal (quite unusual for me). The other mothers noticed and, after the other Carolina grads made sure I hadn’t just picked up the wrong blue, were on board. By the end of the week, they all had Teal Toes and a movement was born.

Teal polish has been much more “in” in the last few years. There are shades available across the teal spectrum (bluer, greener, flat and sparkly) from salon and drugstore brands. It is easy to find one for you.

Women (and some men) across the globe are going teal. Some are doing it to support a friend or colleague going through treatment. Survivors are helping to spread the word about ovarian cancer and its symptoms so no one else has to go through what we have. Many are asking local salons to host pedicure parties to raise funds for local cancer centers and research. Visit our website at for more information and to order wallet sized cards with the symptoms on them that you can hand to those who ask about your toes. Check out our Pinterest board to see many of the gorgeous teal polishes out there, and visit our facebook page here!

Looking forward to seeing lots of teal toes!.