The FIU vs. Florida Gulf Coast men’s soccer game Friday, Nov. 4, will be dedicated to the work that alumna and ovarian cancer survivor Marlene Wolff ’86 and her family do through the Message from Marli Foundation.
The last game of the regular season is set for 7 p.m. at home at Modesto A. Maidique Campus and will serve as a celebration of the foundation’s first anniversary.
Both teams will wear teal wristbands as a symbol of awareness about the disease, and Wolff and her family will be in attendance to thank supporters and share ovarian cancer awareness literature with attendees.
The cause is dear to Head Coach Munga Eketebi, who played soccer with Marli’s husband, Marc Wolff ’90, on the 1984 FIU national championship team and on the ’85 national runners-up team.
“We helped launch Message from Marli a year ago, and we are happy to help celebrate its work and encourage Marlene in her fight against cancer,” the coach said. “This is a new tradition for us, and we’re happy to support one of our own.”
Wolff was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer at the age of 44 in the spring of 2009. She is currently undergoing treatment and working through the foundation to raise awareness about the disease, since she was diagnosed late due to her lack of awareness of the cancer’s symptoms.
Wolff’s husband – her high school sweetheart – and their three children decided to establish the nonprofit last year to help educate women and medical professionals about the symptoms of the “silent killer.” Their goal is to get Marli’s message out on the international level and help educate as many people as possible.
“About 23,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States every year and 80 percent get diagnosed in the later stages,” Marc Wolff said. “We’re trying to change that and get women to be proactive and take a leadership role in their health.
“Marli’s doing well. Fifty percent of women diagnosed with stage IV don’t make it past two years, so we’re very grateful [with her progress]. We want to change the numbers and have women get an earlier diagnosis so that they and their families don’t have to experience the difficulties Marli and our family have.”