SOURCE: Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA)

Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA)

May 30, 2012 13:29 ET

Jodi Brammeier's Legacy Lives On

Tree and Bench Dedicated in Ken Caryl Ranch's Heirloom Park

DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - May 30, 2012) - A red maple tree on the edge of Ken Caryl Ranch's Heirloom Park is flourishing, and an adjacent bench offers a calming place for park-goers to sit and enjoy the surrounding views and mountain backdrop.

For some, though, this red maple and accompanying bench offer much more. To John Brammeier and his daughter Meghan, along with many other members of the community, this peaceful spot serves as a legacy of a loving and passionate life that ended too soon nearly two years ago.

Jodi Brammeier -- a woman of beaming courage, incredible strength and an unbelievable outpouring of inspiration -- lost her life in August 2010 after a two-year battle with ovarian cancer. It was her goal and her mission to make other women aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer -- warnings that are often ignored or misunderstood as indicators of some other ailment or condition.

Detection of ovarian cancer is challenging since the symptoms of are not specific to the disease and often mimic those of many other more common conditions, including digestive and bladder problems. Symptoms of ovarian cancer include abdominal pressure, fullness, swelling or bloating; pelvic discomfort or pain; persistent indigestion, gas or nausea; changes in bowel habits, such as constipation; changes in bladder habits, including a frequent need to urinate; loss of appetite or quickly feeling full; and low back pain.

After she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Jodi decided to establish an awareness race in an effort to inform people of the prevalence of this disease, and to warn women and their families of the signs and symptoms of the often fatal illness. The American Cancer Society estimates that 22,280 women in the United States will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer in 2012 and that 15,500 women will die from the disease.

Jodi got involved with the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA), and shortly before the inaugural event in June 2010, COCA declared that the race would be named in honor of Jodi in recognition of her vision and her determination to raise awareness about the disease. Jodi was unwavering in her desire to have 1,000 participants for that initial race despite warnings that the expectation was too high for a first-year event. Although her health was rapidly failing, she maintained that resolve and there were more than 1,400 people at the first Race for Awareness -- the only race Jodi was able to attend.

COCA recognized that Jodi put her whole heart and soul into planning the race as a manifestation of her passion for making others aware of ovarian cancer. She was a model to the community and lives on as a symbol for women who are battling ovarian cancer. In Jodi's honor, COCA dedicated the bench and red maple tree in Heirloom Park as reminders of her impact on the community. They serve as a living remembrance and celebration of her life.

"When we drive by the park, my daughter points out 'Mommy's Tree,'" John Brammeier says of the donations from COCA. "She had so many friends in the area and now they can come to the memorial and reflect on the life of Jodi, and how much we all loved her."

This year on June 2 COCA is hosting the third annual Jodi's Race for Awareness, including a 5k Run/Walk and 1Mile Family Walk, in Denver's City Park. Runners and walkers can join in the fundraising event as individuals or they can put together teams that are encouraged to raise money prior to the race to help COCA to reach its $100,000 goal.

Registration for the 2012 Jodi's Race for Awareness is underway online at and continues until 11:59 p.m. May 30. Additionally, in-store registration will be available May 16-30 at Boulder Running Company in Littleton and Greenwood Village as well as Runners Roost in Denver. Each person who registers for the race contributes to spreading awareness of ovarian cancer in Colorado and helping Jodi's legacy live on.

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