Below the Belt, a local organization that raises money for ovarian cancer research, is sponsoring the ‘End Ovarian Cancer’ plate.

The ovarian cancer plate’s official logo
Below the Belt’s Erin and Eli Tate

Eli and Erin Tate started Below the Belt five years ago to raise funds for the research and treatment of gynecologic cancers, as well as awareness and visibility of the often hard-to-detect diseases.

With their help, the cause may become more visible than ever. Below the Belt has agreed to sponsor the creation of a North Carolina Ovarian Cancer License Plate, an effort which could put the trademark teal ribbon on the tails of cars across the state.

Proceeds from the “End Ovarian Cancer” plate will support ovarian cancer research at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, which Below the Belt has supported since the Tates started the organization in 2010.

“My stepmother Stella Waugh was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in 2010 three weeks after her best friend Mary Jane Burns was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. They were both taken care of here at UNC,” said Eli, who was a medical student at the time of his stepmother’s diagnosis and is now a resident in the UNC Department of Radiology. “Below the Belt started as a way for our family to take some kind of action for all gynecologic cancers in the midst of all the diagnoses and prognoses.”

Since 2010, the organization has raised nearly $80,000 for UNC Lineberger, founded the Burns-Waugh Research Fellowship for medical students and supported the research of Dr. Vickie Bae-Jump, a gynecologic oncologist in the UNC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a UNC Lineberger member.

“Gynecologic cancers are not very visible, so getting this plate out there means something to the families, supporters, survivors and current cancer patients because it raises awareness and money for something that’s not talked about very much,” said Erin.

Each plate is $20, $10 of which goes directly to ovarian cancer research at UNC Lineberger. Plates can also be purchased and donated in honor or support of others. The Tates are two-thirds of the way to meeting their goal and must sell 100 more plates by February.

Eli said sponsoring the license plate through Below the Belt is not only another step in helping researchers find a cure for gynecologic cancers, but it’s also another way for the Tate family to say “thank you” for the care they received at UNC.

“Everyone at Lineberger was honest as well as optimistic, and they communicated extremely well with the family,” said Eli. “They were treating the whole family – we were in good hands.”

To purchase a plate, click here.