Anyone who follows women’s tennis knows Chris Evert.
This mega athlete who has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles has been an icon to so many players over the past four decades. As someone who was known for keeping her composure on the court, her cancer diagnosis really shook her.
“I was shocked, like I was in a fog, and I was so scared, so I used my powers on the court and tried to block it out a little,” she told The Guardian.
On average, when a woman receives an ovarian cancer diagnosis at the Stage 4 level -- the odds are not great. In fact, only about 15% of women hearing this news will go on to survive it.
This is a statistic Evert understands too well. In 2020, after two years of battling her own ovarian cancer diagnosis, Jeanne Evert Dubin, Chris’ younger sister, passed away from the disease.
It was Jeanne’s passing that led Chris to get tested for the BRCA gene -- for which she was positive -- and an early detection of cancer in her fallopian tube and one ovary, and in the fluid around her reproductive organs.
“If it had not been for Jeanne’s death, I would not be alive,” Evert said.
“So I want to get the word out about genetic testing -- not just for ovarian cancer, but heart conditions, diabetes, everything. Be aware of your genetic history and if you feel anything different in your body for three days, see your doctor. Don’t wait three months."
The WTA welcomes Evert's advocating for women’s health through its WTA Charities ACEing Cancer by Hologic program where a research grant will be given in memory of her sister at the end of this year. You can help make that happen by donating here.