By Michelle Colesanti

Local resident, Jenn Moddie, spent four-and-a-half years at her mother, Michelle Ehrich’s, side as she battled ovarian cancer. Her story is one of determination and strength despite the battle, and it relates to Fifth Third’s current campaign to raise funds for cancer research.

Over the past few months, Fifth Third Bank (Tampa Bay) has been participating in a “Pay to the Order of” campaign to raise money for cancer research. Through the campaign, for each new customer who opens a checking account with direct deposit and makes three online bill payments, Fifth Third will give $150 to the customer and donate $150 to Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). The “Pay to the Order of” campaign is taking place at branches around the nation and has just been extended until Tuesday, April 15. Nationally, over $722,471 has been raised.

Moddie participated in the program at her local Riverview Branch, located at 13304 U.S. Hwy. 30 1 S.

Stand Up To Cancer is a groundbreaking movement to accelerate innovative cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives. SU2C enables collaboration among the best and the brightest in the cancer community. By galvanizing the entertainment industry, SU2C creates awareness and builds broad public support for this effort.

When told the news of her mom’s cancer diagnosis, Moddie said, “He [the doctor] gave us the most devastating news, that my mom was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. I was completely speechless and I felt my heart drop down into the pit of my stomach. My mom’s eyes filled with tears and I remember her saying that she didn’t have time for cancer and that her kids are too young to not have a mom around.”

Moddie’s mom fought a long battle refusing to miss any days at work. She was in the banking industry for over 22 years. Fighting and surviving much longer than originally predicted, her mom eventually lost her battle with cancer at the age of 51.

“Through this whole experience, it made me learn the value and appreciation for my family who was there for my mom during her battle. I am honored to be able to have had the 29 years I had with my mom,” commented Moddie.

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2014, about 21,980 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed and 14,270 women will die of ovarian cancer in the United States, yet it is not considered a common disease.


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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.