EAST GREENWICH—Karen Bristow had been Mary Sayles’ neighbor in Warwick for 35 years, each woman babysitting the other’s children as they grew up. On June 28, 2011, Bristow lost a good friend to ovarian cancer and, two years later, has done much to commemorate her life.
This past Sunday evening, friends and family gathered at The Silver Spoon Bakery and Café on Main Street to celebrate Sayles, offering an assortment of stylish and delicious cupcakes. The bakery raised more than $3,000 for ovarian cancer awareness and the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk this year in memory of Sayles, who was a mother of three and former employee to Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian.
Kelly Santos, owner of The Silver Spoon Bakery and Bristow’s step-daughter, expressed her surprise and gratitude to the local businesses who sponsored the event, including The Grille on Main and The Green Door.
“It has been really important to give back to the community,” said Santos. “They have given so much to us and everyone was super generous.”
With cocktails and a raffle on tap as well, many thanked Bristow for having run in the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon last year in Mary Sayles’ memory. Bristow’s, as well as the overall community’s efforts, have not gone unnoticed.
“It’s always nice to be reminded of what a big presence my mom was and how much she touched her friends and people in the community, with everyone sharing funny stories and memories,” said Kate Sayles, Mary’s daughter. “Karen did a terrific job of putting the event together and was able to raise a lot of money that will go directly to ovarian cancer research.”
According to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the organization which consulted Sayles, over 15,000 women this will die from ovarian cancer and approximately 22,000 will report symptoms. Ovarian cancer is also difficult to diagnose because it is largely undetectable until more advanced stages.
“It’s extremely important for the community to hold these events to spread awareness about ovarian cancer because it is one of the most deadly forms of cancer, with symptoms like bloating, indigestion, and abdominal pain that are generally misdiagnosed,” said Kate. “Because ovarian cancer is hard to detect, it generally isn’t found until it has progressed.”
“This was the case for my mother and too many other women that have been affected by this awful cancer,” she added.
The Silver Spoon Bakery and Café will continue to sell its silver dollar cupcakes to raise awareness for ovarian cancer. Bristow will continue as well in her mission to educate the public about cancer awareness for her friend, Mary Sayles.
“I just want to keep her memory alive,” she said.