By:Jacqueline Bennett

Photo by Jacqueline Bennett

Most children love to run and play but for 8-year-old ovarian cancer survivor, Natalie Cosman, undoubtedly running has a whole new meaning.

Natalie, her family, friends and other backers are members of  Natalie’s Tigers, a support team preparing to participate in the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Connecticut Chapter’s 3rd Annual 5K Run/Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer. The run/walk will be held on September 22 at Hammonassett Beach Park, 1288 Boston Post Road in Madison, Connecticut as part of national ovarian cancer awareness month.

Described on the NOCC website as the largest fundraiser and awareness event for the organization, the run/walk celebrates survivors and remembers those who lost their lives to this disease. In addition to the run/walk, a “Celebration of Life” butterfly release is planned, as well as, kid’s activities, food and drink, vendors and guest speakers.

For Natalie of Manchester, Conn., this will be the second year taking part in the ‘Break the Silence’ run/walk. Diagnosed at age 7, over the past year she has undergone surgery and chemotherapy.

Courtesy photo- Natalie with her sister Samantha.

“Thanks so much to Natalie’s Tigers started last year when Natalie first found out she had ovarian cancer,” said Natalie’s mother, Melinda Cosman.

“We found out in July 2011 and we did the first run/walk in September 2011. We didn’t have much time but we pulled a team together and we did it” Melinda Cosman said.

This year, however, the family started early. Natalie and her 9-year-old sister Samantha set up lemonade stands throughout the summer where they not only sold lemonade but also teal ribbon lollipops they made at home. Teal is the color taken on by the national organization to symbolize the fight against ovarian cancer.

Courtesy photo Natalie with some Teal Pops she and her family made and sold to help raise money to fight ovarian cancer.

“We have made over 1,900 teal pops,” said Melinda Cosman.

The Cosman family is not done yet. They have more stands scheduled, including one today – September 1- at the West Hartford Stop & Shop on Newington Road from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, September 15 at the Newington Stop & Shop on Fenn Road 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the Stop & Shop in Manchester at the Manchester Parkade on Sunday, September 16, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Photo by Jacqueline Bennett
Natalie with her parents, Melinda and David Cosman.

Just last Friday night, during  their 63rd Annual Peach Festival fundraiser, the Eighth Utilities District Fire Department in Manchester, a mostly volunteer group, presented Natalie with a check for more than $2,000. Sharing a smile Natalie said that evening, ” I’m doing good.”

Melinda Cosman says the Eighth Utilities District, Northstar Dance Academy, Cosmic Omelet and Carter Chevrolet are among the Manchester organizations and businesses that “have never left our side.”

Photo by Jacqueline Bennett
Natalie was presented with a check Aug. 24 for more than $2,000 by the 8th Utilities District Fire Department in Manchester, Conn.

Also always by Natalie’s side has been her beloved stuffed toy tiger. According to her mom, Natalie fell in love with the toy tiger when she was a baby and it went with her to “chemo camp.” It is the inspiration for the team name – Natalie’s Tigers.

“We have lots of friends who have been supporting us through this and will be there for the walk,” added Melinda Cosman.

In his proclamation declaring September national ovarian cancer awareness month, President Barack Obama stated, ” This year, thousands of American women will lose their lives to ovarian cancer. They are mothers and daughters, sisters and grandmothers, community members and cherished friends.”

The president went on to reaffirm his administration’s commitment to “improving outcomes” for those battling the disease. He cited the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Inside Knowledge campaign, as well as, provisions of the new Affordable Care Act, which starting in 2014 will prohibit insurers from denying coverage to those with ovarian cancer or any other pre-existing condition.

For more information about Natalie’s Tigers and, or, the run/walk go to or call 860-861-0061.