who we are
Caring Together, Inc, is an independent, not for profit organization, holding tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
KELLY OWENS, PRESIDENT
My sister-in-law, Susan Izykowski, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2002 at the age of 54. We witnessed first-hand the impact of the disease on Sue, her husband, children and the entire family. In 2003, this amazing woman, mother, sister, and aunt passed away and our determination to help find a cure began with our participation in our first Ovarian Cancer Walk that same year. I am very proud to be a member of the Caring Together Board of Directors to help fund support & education for individuals diagnosed and their families as well as research to find a cure for this devastating disease.
BETHANY SCHULDT, VICE PRESIDENT
My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in February 2016. I felt helpless and was looking for a way to do something to support my mom’s fight against this terrible disease. I formed the team Choose Hope for the teal ribbon walk, and from there, heard about and joined the Caring Together board. After 6 1/2 year we lost my mom but I will continue to fight on in her memory.
CAMRYN COOKE, SECRETARY
When my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2002, it became our family mission to raise awareness. After her passing in 2010, it became my personal mission to be continuously involved in making a difference for those affected by this disease. It is my honor to not only be a GYN oncology nurse, but also to sit on the board for this incredible group that makes a difference to so many women and their caregivers.
JUDITH MAZZA, TREASURER
I am a survivor since 2004 and joined the Board a number of years ago. My younger sister was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer in 1998 and both of us were the lucky ones to be diagnosed at Stage 1B. I believe that there will be a time when we have an early diagnostic tool but until then, women must be vigilant about what is happening to their own bodies. While ovarian cancer is not as prevalent as breast cancer, it is more deadly, and it does not discriminate—it is found in young and older, all racial and ethnic backgrounds. It is critical that every woman hears the message regarding symptoms and treatment. It may not be you, but you may know someone who has or will have ovarian cancer. As a survivor, I know that there is life after diagnosis and I have seen this with other survivors. To anyone who reads this, think about getting involved—help us spread the word, raise money, join our Teal Ribbon Race (5k run/1 mile walk) and support our research programs to help get a diagnostic test and a cure.
After losing two close friends, and then my sister to ovarian cancer, I decided it was time to help change the odds for women at risk. When I learned about Caring Together’s mission, I knew they were keenly focused on changing the tide on this insidious disease, so I joined the Board of Directors in 2012. My goal is to ‘make teal the new pink’ through education that raises awareness of the risk factors and symptoms known to be prevalent in those who develop ovarian cancer, thereby giving women the knowledge they need to have a better fighting chance against the disease – until research finds an early detection test to provide that for them.
As someone who was fortunate enough to be diagnosed at stage 1c, I knew I couldn’t just go back to normal life. I received so much support and strength at the Caring Together Support Group that I wanted to pay that forward. I hope that our advocacy and education work can lead to more stage 1 survivors like me and an eventual detection test and cure for ovarian cancer.
I attended a couple of Support Group meetings with my mother in 2004 and was impressed with the knowledge of the group and the upbeat attitude of the survivors. Shortly after she passed away I attended my first Teal Ribbon Run/Walk. The event was so uplifting I knew that I wanted to be a part of Caring Together and to support and promote their cause in any way that I could.
In 1997 I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Ovarian Cancer. I’ve supported Caring Together over the years through donations and participating in the race/walk with my mom. My best friends’ mom was also diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and passed away a couple years ago. The pandemic cut my work travel schedule and commute time, and I wanted to used my “extra” time to focus on ovarian cancer awareness and research for early detection. I was fortunate my signs were obvious: weight gain, bloating, and eventually abdominal pain. Caring Together is a terrific organization, supporting survivors while raising money for research, most of which is used right here in the Capital District. We hope you will join us in our goal to find a cure.
Shortly after my mom passed away in 2019, I knew I wanted to find a way to get involved and raise awareness about ovarian cancer. In the Fall of 2019, I attended my first Teal Ribbon Run/Walk and was amazed at how the community came together and supported one another. I left the event thinking Caring Together is the organization I want to be a part of. I am honored to be a member of the Caring Together board and be a part of supporting research and raising awareness about ovarian cancer.
CARING TOGETHER HAS SERVED NY’S CAPITAL DISTRICT AND NEIGHBORING COMMUNITIES SINCE 1996.