"My competitive journey had started from the hospital bed."
- Jenn Sommermann
Name: Jenn Sommermann
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 516.633.9464
History: Just before my 42nd birthday, I was diagnosed with Stage III ovarian cancer. I received a full hysterectomy only four days after my diagnosis and endured six long months of chemotherapy. I was able to beat the disease and credit my involvement in the sport of triathlon which started at age 40. Without this sport and a keen awareness of my body, I might not have picked up the subtle but unmistakable symptoms that encouraged me to see a doctor.
Lying in the hospital receiving a chemo treatment, I read an ad in Triathlete Magazine for a women's triathlon series to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF). The races were in 3 cities (San Diego, Chicago and Seattle) and I vowed to complete all three races the following year. My competitive journey had started from the hospital bed.
In 2008, I raced in the entire series and added several more races to round out my season. In 2009, my campaign took hold as I decided to set bigger goals for myself and for fundraising for OCRF. Racing in 50 triathlons in 50 states by the time I am 50 years old, to raise $100,000 for ovarian cancer research is my current goal.
This campaign is self inspired, self orchestrated and 100% self funded. Every penny of donations goes directly to OCRF to find a method of early detection. In addition, all in-kind donations are turned into cash donations (by me) in the name of the contributor. This means that if I receive a comp entry or a comp hotel room, I donate the amount I save in the name of the race. This makes my campaign unique. I am not independently wealthy, nor am I retired. I work three jobs to pay for the campaign and am happy to do so if it means a life will be saved.
The statistics for ovarian cancer are miserable. I was one of the lucky ones. I race for women in treatment, women who have lost the battle and for women yet to be diagnosed.
Timeline of Goals Supporting OCRF:
- 2007: While hospitalized and receiving chemotherapy, I vowed to complete the entire US Women's Triathlon Series (USWTS) the following year.
- 2008: Completed entire USWTS series in California, Illinois and Washington plus Massachusetts and raised $15000 as a member of Team Hope.
- 2009: Proclaimed my goal to raise $100,000 for ovarian cancer research by racing in 50 triathlons in all 50 states by age . Campaign named 50x50x100. Raced in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maine and Connecticut and New York.
- 2010: Added another 11 states and Washington DC: Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Vermont, Delaware, Mississippi, Maryland and New Jersey. Fundraising totals go over $32000.
- 2011: Another 11 states added for a total of 31 completed. Raced in Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Indiana, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Alaska, Rhode Island, Texas and Kansas. Fundraising totals near $60,000.
- 2012: Another 11 states added for a total of 42 completed. Raced in Tennessee, New Mexico, South Carolina, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Missouri, Colorado, Minnesota, Idaho, Wisconsin and Arkansas. Fundraising totals near $82,000.
- 2013: Final eight states completed. Alabama, Kentucky, Iowa, Oregon, Michigan, Wyoming, South Dakota and Hawaii with fundraising cresting over $107,000.