Jill Bach, of Dallas, is a tech entrepreneur who founded a digital agency in 1994 to help businesses be more profitable through web-based technology. An ovarian cancer survivor, she is president of the board of directors of Be the Difference Foundation, which she co-founded in 2012.
My life changed forever on April 16, 2007, when I was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. Cancer provided me with the perspective to appreciate things that we often take for granted, such as time with
family and friends, the gorgeous blue sky or the quietness of sunrise. I learned to appreciate every day and live life to its fullest. However, I often experienced what I call ‘survivor guilt.’ Why did I survive late-stage ovarian cancer when so many women don’t, including one of our founders? Unfortunately, the five-year survival rate for women with ovarian cancer is less than 47%, and the five-year survival rate of those with stage IV ovarian cancer is less than 20%.
In 2012, I joined forces with three other survivors, Julie Shrell, Lynn Lentscher and Helen Gardner, and formed Be the Difference Foundation (BTDF) to create awareness and improve the lives of all people affected by ovarian cancer through education, support and research — in short, to provide hope.
BTDF has provided over $2.2 million for ovarian cancer research targeted at finding a cure and for initiatives to support women battling the disease. These initiatives include increasing the availability of clinical trials; medical support services, including personalized tumor profiling and treatment recommendations; and travel cost assistance to clinical trials. BTDF is proud to have provided over $300,000 since 2015 to MD Anderson’s Ovarian Cancer Moon Shot®.
BTDF’s banner fundraising program, Wheel to Survive, is an uplifting, inspirational indoor cycling event. Upcoming Wheel to Survive rides include Boulder, Colorado, and Houston, Sept. 29; Burlingame, California, Nov. 3; and Dallas, Feb. 23, 2020.
My hope is that one day ovarian cancer will be a treatable chronic condition. Until that time, we must all continue to be the difference in the fight against this terrible disease.