LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Lisa Hubbard found out she had stage 3c ovarian cancer just days after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the coast. The disease affects more than 20,000 women each year, but is often misdiagnosed. After being misdiagnosed several times herself, Hubbard finally found out what had been making her so sick.
"They said if you don't get chemo now, you'll be dead in two weeks," said Hubbard.
Now, she's a cancer survivor and dedicates much of her time trying to spread awareness about ovarian cancer.
"I'd be in the grocery store or somewhere and, of course, someone sees you bald-headed and asks what kind of cancer you have. You'd tell them and they'd say, 'Oh, I'm not familiar with that.' I noticed each year that there was no teal ribbons, no ovarian cancer awareness, and I thought we really need to get some education out," she said.
So Hubbard decided to get involved with the national Turn the Towns Teal campaign and recruited the help of the Long Beach cheerleaders.
"One of my mom's good friends passed away with ovarian cancer, so it kind of means a lot," cheerleader Abbey Fisher. said. "Not a lot of people know about it, so I'm really thankful for Ms. Lisa coming out here and helping us get the signs out."
The girls spent their Saturday morning turning more than 100 homes in the Belle Terre neighborhood teal.
"It makes me smile whenever I see my whole cheer team here helping other people to be aware. It's just awesome. It really gives me chills every time we talk about it," said cheerleader Lauren Riley.
Hubbard hopes that with the ribbons, people will be interested in finding out more about the deadly disease with common symptoms.
"Abdominal pain or lower back pain can so often be misdiagnosed as kidney or bladder problems or gastric problems. If it lasts two weeks, you need to get it diagnosed because this is a very aggressive form of cancer," she said.