AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The American Cancer Society estimates about 21,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, and about 14,000 women will die from it. CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh met one woman fighting the disease with both chemotherapy and compassion.
With every brush stroke, every splotch Jean Murr helps others express themselves through art. It’s therapy for Murr because for the last eight years the artist’s life has been colored by cancer.
“I’m chronic is what they call me, I will always be fighting cancer,” Murr said.
In 2007 Murr was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After seven rounds of chemotherapy and three rounds of radiation she is now fighting her sixth recurrence.
“It won’t go away for long range or it will not be cured,” Murr said.
“We continue to fight for Jean,” said Murr’s oncologist Dr. Kian Behbakht at the University of Colorado Hospital.
“We have had ups and we have had downs,” Behbakht said.
It was Behbakht who encouraged Murr to share her talent. Her small painting class includes breast cancer survivor Gina Braning. Each September Murr holds a bigger, special session for cancer patients and others.
“It’s a happy place, it’s me sharing and they walk out of here with gifts and smiles,” Murr said.
Behbakht says ovarian cancer has been called “the silent killer.”
“It still lacks an early diagnosis,” he said.
So the artist is now activist.
“The more we can do the better,” Murr said.
Murr and her husband have started the Teed Off at Ovarian Cancer Golf Tournament to raise money for the University of Colorado Cancer Center. It will be held Sept. 16 at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club.