Marci Houff is a relatively new member to the Nashville community, moving here just over 2 years ago and already she is making an impact on women’s health. You see, Marci is an ovarian cancer survivor and is on a mission to educate women about the signs of this deadly cancer, as early prevention saves lives. September is Ovarian Cancer Month, so the timing is perfect to learn more. She has also organized a new event for Nashville, Chic Awearness, on September 18th, which benefits Gilda’s Club. StyleBlueprint will be on hand, with Liza Graves emceeing the event in honor of the women in her life who have lost their battle to this particular cancer.
As a relatively new person to the Nashville community, tell us how Nashville is different from other places you’ve lived.
Nashville has a pulse you can really feel. It is contagious! It’s amazing to see that whether a person has been raised here or not, they are happy to meet new people who move to Nashville.
We are so impressed with your ability to spearhead the launch of a brand new fundraiser for ovarian cancer awareness. Tell us briefly about why this is important to you.
I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008 and our world was instantly turned upside down. When we arrived in Nashville in the summer of 2011, I immediately started meeting so many friendly, talented, giving women! I knew this was my time and place to spread the importance of early detection of ovarian cancer. It took one “ask” and many of my wonderful new friends said yes to helping.
What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer has signs and symptoms, but they do “whisper.”
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Feeling full quickly or trouble eating
- Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often
I explained away my “symptoms” as a new Kashi 12 grain cereal I was eating, Pilates classes that were tough on my abdomen and don’t women always feel “bloated?”
What is the biggest piece of information you want our readers to know about ovarian cancer today?
Early detection of ovarian cancer saves women’s lives.
How has Nashville embraced the Chic Awearness party?
I am blown away by how this community is supporting our inaugural “Chic Awearness” event! Our sponsors have shown an immediate willingness to help and because of them, 100% of ticket sales will go to Gilda’s Club Nashville.
What is one thing about you that may surprise our readers?
That I am an ovarian cancer survivor is the most surprising thing. I also do a mean tap dance.
Was any sage wisdom given to you that you were able to lean on during your treatment?
I often thought of my father, who told me early on that life was not always fair. I also I posted signs saying “August 4th” all over the house—mirrors, refrigerator, doors-–this was my last day of chemo. Humor helped too. Our daughter was four when I was diagnosed and she wanted to know if my hair could grow back “pink!”
When it comes to mind, body and spirit, how do you take care of yourself differently today?
When anxious over something, I try very hard to remember the journey I went through. What a wonderful lesson! I also am much more vigilant in my workouts. Pure Barre has helped a ton! I feel strong and empowered.
Now onto some fun questions! What’s your favorite luxury or indulgence?
My favorite luxury still has to be pedicures! All is right with the world after one.
What is your idea of a perfect Saturday night?
A perfect Saturday night is 9 holes of golf with my husband on a beautiful evening and dinner afterward
How important is it to keep close friends and how do you ensure you get that time?
My close Ohio friends helped make my recovery possible! They love visiting Nashville. New friendships have been so rewarding. I am blessed so many women have welcomed a new friend into their lives.
Where would you like your next vacation to be?
We have not been to Bermuda since my daughter was 5 and I would love to go back soon!
What books are currently on your bedside table/kindle?
I am currently reading Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed. It’s a raw, honest memoir that’s hard to put down. I just finished Gilda Radner’s It’s Always Something. She was so funny and so brave! Because of Gilda recognizing the need for emotional and social support during cancer treatment, Gilda’s Club was created.
Can you tell us about a recent discovery in Nashville that surprised you that you didn’t know about?
It might not be good for us, but we discovered Cheerwine here! It is great pop!
Name 3 lighthearted things you can’t live without.
Lipstick, a killer pair of shoes (they always hurt!) and Pure Barre.
Thank you Marci! Please join us on September 18th, at Elan in Green Hills, for this very special celebration, educational event and fashion show that is Chic Awearness. For information, click here.
Thank you to Ashley Hylbert for the beautiful photos today and each Monday. For more information about Ashley’s photography, be sure to check out her site: click here.