Hi Party People! My name is Aryn Kinney, I have been a part of WOCA for two years now, and just recently joined “ Our Fried Eggs” in November 2019.I have been warmly accepted by each of these wonderful women! I am known as the baby of the group.
While there is a significant age gap- it does not matter. We share an unparalleled, unbreakable bond due to the similarity of our conditions and circumstances.
I was 19 years old when I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Ovarian Cancer in January 2015. I was in college, away from home, with a year left until graduation. To say it was bad timing would be an understatement. I was actually misdiagnosed for two months with a benign cyst on my right ovary. I received the call on a Sunday afternoon, traveling back to Madison, Wisconsin.
I was then taken in as a patient at UW Carbone Cancer center mid-January. I did months of various testing, from MRI’s, CT scans, and bloodwork to check my CA-125 blood counts every three weeks. I had my right ovary removal surgery in April of 2015. Undergoing four more removal and debunking surgeries, ending my run with a full hysterectomy at the age of 21. The cancer had spread from my right ovary to my uterus into my left ovary, eventually making its way to my appendix and gallbladder.
The idea of joining WOCA’s Mentorship program: Woman to Woman stemmed early on as I was in my recovery state. During my three years of on and off treatments, I was never truly alone. My family was such a vibrant and strong support system. My fear of the unknown gave me the drive to surround myself with women who had gone through the same struggles.
For a long time, I wrestled with a sense of purpose and being; after everything was said and done, I really struggled to put myself back together– I had all but given up. That’s when I found the WOCA mentorship program and the Survivors Teaching Students at UW Hospital. When I realized that I didn’t have to do this alone, I knew this is where I belonged.
I fully immersed myself into the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance culture and family; from brunch gatherings, Woman to Woman Mentorship, Survivor Teaching Students at UW Hospital, The Toast to Teal Gala, Nancy's Run, Rock, & Stroll 5k, to joining Our Fried Eggs, I threw myself into it head first! I hosted my first Fried Eggs Meeting at Cambria Hotel in Madison, January 2020--I staged the room with decorations of teal galore, with a lunch spread to match.
Throughout the meeting, the legendary sweetheart - Mrs. Stephanie Herfel held my hand, wiped away my tears, and reassured me that I had not only gained 25 new friends but 25 new aunts! These are honestly the strongest women I have ever met. It was in that meeting that Stephanie brought up the idea of the Nashville Teal Honor trip! She knew that Miss. Sierra, Stephanie’s adorable husky, was going to be featured in South-West the Magazine! Stephanie knew that she was not passing up this opportunity! The 6 of us knew, here comes Half a Dozen Fried Eggs- Nashville bound!