Thursday, September 28, 2023

‘Team Anne’ Walks to Honor Memory of Friend While Raising Awareness and Money

Walkers begin their 2 mile journey to honor those affected by Ovarian Cancer.

Almost 800 people wore their teal T-shirts while walking two miles around Tidelands Park in an effort to raise money and awareness for the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of San Diego Sept. 10th. The Teal Steps Ovarian Cancer Walk included individuals and teams that were formed to walk in honor of survivors or those they’ve lost to this disease. Among the teams was ‘Team Anne,’ formed by Meredith Watwood in honor of local Coronado woman, Anne Dixon McManus, who passed away of the awful disease just one year ago.

Team Anne poses for a photo along the walk route. Thanks to Stefan Freeman, Coronado Sign, for producing the Team Anne hats on short notice.

It all began with a Bunco group of local moms who shared good times, connection and support for one another, who forged unshakeable bonds as their children grew up together in Coronado. That group was devastated when they lost their dear friend to a disease known as the ‘silent killer’ because the symptoms are hard to detect and oftentimes common among women as they age.

Members of the original Bunco Group pose for a pre-walk photo.

The original Bunco group along with some other family and friends gathered together to share memories, laugh and cry as they connected over the shared grief of the loss of Anne. “Our Bunco group was so heartbroken when Anne passed away, we were looking for a way that our group could honor her memory,” said Meredith. “When we found out the Teal Steps Ovarian Cancer Walk was almost exactly a year after she passed away, and in Coronado, it was perfect. Now we can make it an annual event to celebrate her memory with friends and family.”

Photo of Anne Dixon courtesy of Seanan McGrath.

Seanan McGrath, another member of the original Bunco group shared, “To know Anne was to love Anne. She was beautiful inside and out and the best mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend! Anne was an amazing person and anyone that was lucky enough to have her in their lives was blessed! She is loved and missed and this walk was a great way to come together and celebrate and honor her. We look forward to doing this for many years to come.”

A photo of the original group of friends provided by Seanan McGrath.

According to the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of San Diego website, “Ovarian Cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women in the United States. Currently there is no screening test for the early detection of ovarian cancer. Ovarian Cancer Alliance of San Diego is working towards advancing cancer research and education of the medical community for early diagnosis, improving the quality of care for patients, and expanding their community outreach program to include all gynecologic cancer awareness to civic groups, organizations and the general public throughout the San Diego County.”

The Race Master of Ceremonies shares the Ovarian Cancer Alliance mission and shares valuable information about ovarian cancer detection and symptoms.

For more information about signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, or how to donate to the cause visit the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of San Diego website.

A special thank you to Stefan Freeman, Coronado Sign, for producing the Team Anne hats on short notice.

Jeannie Groeneveld
Jeannie Groeneveld
Jeannie is a retired Naval Aviator and Public Affairs Officer whose post-Navy career includes freelance writing, PR Consulting and a two year stint as the San Diego Padres Military Affairs Advisor. Having been stationed in various parts of the country including Washington D.C., Florida and Hawaii, Jeannie appreciates how amazing the Coronado community is and loves the experience her children have had growing up here. Jeannie earned her BS in Marine Biology from Auburn University, her MS in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego and her MA in Communication and Media Relations at San Diego State University. A life-long learner and avid traveler Jeannie enjoys writing travel pieces, Navy stories and anything else that will broaden her perspective. When she is not working you will find her watching her boys play sports, walking Odin at dog beach, hiking, playing beach volleyball or spending time with the family.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]