An Emotional Goal – Helping Others in Need

On April 26th I will run in the London Marathon on behalf of the ovarian charity, Ovacome. It’s a cause I have a personal connection with and I’m really proud to be an ambassador just for one day.

Here’s my mission;

By doing this, I’m contributing to our company values, in particular ‘Improving the World’.










I’m going to share some information with you that, up to now, was not widely known beyond my closest friends….

In 1997 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was only 33 and I hadn’t started my family. In the space of a week I was transformed from a healthy, super-fit young woman into a patient with a large question mark on my head. Ovarian cancer has a poor survival rate mainly because it’s not found in the early stages. I was an unusually young case and someone with hopes of having children.

Ovarian cancer is very difficult to detect; the symptoms are vague, and therefore it’s often called ‘The Silent Killer.’ The average five-year survival rate is only 45%, mainly because it is diagnosed at a late stage. But if it’s caught early then the survival rate is considerably improved, around 90%. Sadly, for many ladies it’s found at a late stage and the 5-year survival rate may be reduced to less than 20%. There are 1,738 ladies working at Celanese, and statistically 35 of these ladies have a lifetime risk of having ovarian cancer. 

Pay attention to the signs and please share this information with the ladies in your life!  Ovacome has developed a memorable acronym, BEAT, to help you;

B is for Bloating; it’s persistent and doesn’t come and go

E is for Eating; difficulty eating and feeling full quickly

A is for Abdominal; pelvic pain or unusual feelings you feel most days

T is for Talking; tell your doctor

For more information, go to the Ovacome website;

Being diagnosed with cancer is a devastating experience. You think it doesn’t happen to people like you. Well it does, it can happen to anyone. And you never know when you may need support.

My goal is to complete the London Marathon and raise awareness of the symptoms, leading to a better outcome for ovarian cancer patients. It will be an emotional day for me, reminding me of those scary times and yet a day to be thankful that I’m healthy and fit enough to run a marathon. If you’d like to know more about my run, please contact me at

Please share my story with your friends and family!

28 people like this post.

About the author


Wendy Johnson is a Medical Marketing Manager for Celanese Engineered Materials. She joined Celanese in 2012, and she leads our market development initiatives for inhalation and injection medical devices. Wendy is originally from the UK and for the past 10 years she has been based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

There are 7 comments. Add yours.

  1. Michaela Reuter says:

    Dear Wendy,

    Thank you again for sharing your personal story and for your amazing goal to support this cause.

    All the best for the marathon and I am sure that your story and example will save many lives.

    Take care,

    • Wendy Johnson says:

      Hi Michi, thank you again for your kind words and support. Congratulations on your new position; I wish you every success.



  2. Harrie says:

    thank you Wendy for bravely sharing! I’m a fellow survivor and feel its important people at Celanese know its okay to be one. I’m certain you’re inspiring others here with this blog!

    • Wendy Johnson says:

      Hi Harrie,

      Many thanks for your kind comment. Let’s be an inspiration to our colleagues!!



  3. Wendy Johnson says:

    HI Camilo,

    Thank you for your kind words! Don’t forget to raise the subject with the ladies in your life to be sure they are aware of the disease!



  4. Barbara Stewart says:


    Bravo! It is great to have more visibility into this stealthy disease. My sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year. As she underwent treatment, she painted, adding a rose to her painting “Doses” after each treatment. Over time, the painting was bursting with life and beauty. Quite a story. I thought that you might enjoy seeing the painting on her website.

    Best regards,
    Barbara Stewart

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