An Edinburgh cancer survivor has spearheaded a charity campaign that saw 7400 roses adorned with awareness cards handed out to mark every woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year.
Christina Pacitti, 31, joined forces with research charity Ovarian Cancer Action on Tuesday’s World Ovarian Cancer Day to raise awareness of the disease.
The self-employed nail technician enlisted her two children, Alfie and Lily, and a number of Edinburgh-based businesses, to hand out a total of 1000 roses with specially designed cards describing the symptoms of ovarian cancer attached to each flower.
Christina said: “It was a great day! I had Alfie and Lily as my little helpers and they loved being part of the roses campaign. We started dropping roses into my GP surgery then headed into town where we handed out flowers at Waverly Station. We then went on to the Western General Hospital where I had my operations, and gifted roses to the Clinical Genetic Department before giving out roses to patients and visitors.
In 2015 Christina discovered she carried a BRCA gene mutation, which puts her at greater risk of breast and ovarian cancer, after losing a cousin to the disease. Christina took steps to her reduce her cancer risk by having a bilateral mastectomy. Thankfully she made a good recovery and is now a keen campaigner who raises awareness of ovarian cancer and its risk factors.
Ovarian cancer kills one woman every two hours in the UK but 90 per cent of women don’t know the main symptoms of the disease that include of persistent stomach pain and bloating, difficulty eating or feeling full more quickly and needing to have a wee more frequently.
Christina’s family history of cancer made her determined to reach as many women as possible with information about the disease in a bid to catch any cancer early.
Speaking about World Ovarian Cancer Day, she said: “So many people thought it was a lovely gesture and said it had made their day. A huge thank you goes to Nabila Ramae Beauty, Rigatoni’s, Danielle Carr Hairdressing, Amazon Edinburgh, Braids Medical Group, Ora Beauty, and the staff at the Western General Hospital for helping me to hand out 1,000 roses. It was a lovely day and I hope we’ve helped make a difference.”
Ovarian cancer kills more than 350 women in Scotland annually. As there’s currently no screening programme for ovarian cancer symptoms awareness is the best tool to spot the disease early. To find out more go to http://www.ovarian.org.uk/