The Overview: October 2020

It’s been an incredibly busy end of summer/beginning of fall here at OCRA with a double header of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and our Uniting for Hope Ovarian Cancer National Conference. We’ve learned so much and strengthened our community. Here are just some of the ways:


RESEARCH

  • OCRA is thrilled to announce a partnership with Microsoft’s AI for Health initiative to accelerate ovarian cancer research by harnessing the power of data science and artificial intelligence (AI.)
  • We hosted a listening session with the FDA to better understand the impact of Covid-19 on clinical trial participation, and brought patient research advocates together with pharmaceutical companies in an industry roundtable to share opportunities and challenges around this issue.
  • Menopausal Hormone Therapy … good? Bad? Or something else entirely? OCRA funded a study that finds it’s associated with improved survival from ovarian cancer. And, another study funded by OCRA shed light on genetic factors that may contribute to ovarian cancer.

ADVOCACY

  • We couldn’t let Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month pass without offering this refresher on Johanna’s Law, and why it’s crucial that this program be reauthorized. 
  • Looking ahead, OCRA is vigilantly monitoring the upcoming SCOTUS decision around the Affordable Care Act, and preparing strategies for addressing any outcomes that may threaten protections for those with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, or that may impact the health coverage for millions of people. Sign up for our Action Alerts so you can easily and quickly take action on behalf of the ovarian cancer community when we need our collective voice to be heard.

PATIENT SUPPORT & PROGRAMS

  • You spoke, we listened–and added more weekly “Staying Connected” online support group meetups for patients and survivors. Now you can connect with our oncology licensed clinical social worker and others in the community on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at 1PM Eastern. 
  • OCRA’s Uniting for Hope Ovarian Cancer National Conference went virtual this year. What we lost in being able to hug each other in person, we gained in being able to reach more people, from more places, than ever before. We will be sharing our learnings over the next weeks and months, so be sure to check our website or follow us on social media @ocrahope to learn more.
  • Speaking of reaching more people than ever before, we created a brand-new toolkit to easily share information about symptoms and risks of ovarian cancer. We may have debuted these images in September, but with someone diagnosed every 23 minutes in this country, we need to keep high levels of awareness going year-round.
  • We weren’t the only ones spreading awareness. Some special people shared their words of support and solidarity with our community, and we compiled their individual reflections into a single, powerful statement.

OCRA HEROES

  • Sarah Belzer sells organic personal lubricants through her company Coconu, which donates a portion of its proceeds to OCRA.
  • Andrew Berger hosts a birthday party every year, gathering friends together in celebration and remembrance of his mother while generating tremendous support for groundbreaking research.

EVENTS

  • Throughout late spring, summer and fall, Ovarian Cycle committees rose to the challenge of fundraising during a pandemic, and hosted events across the country — from NYC to Rio Grande Valley, TX; Central Florida to Jackson, MS; Boston to Virginia Beach. These events, a hybrid of outdoor, in-person and virtual, generated nearly $270,000 in support and reached people far beyond the locations where they were held. Be on the lookout for ways to participate in more events in December!

WAYS TO GIVE

Donate through your workplace and have your employer support OCRA through its matching gift program! 

  • Automatic Payroll Deductions: Many companies allow employees to automatically deduct charitable contributions from each paycheck. Connect with your HR department on adding a donation to OCRA through a payroll deduction.
  • Matching Gifts: Employers will often match charitable donations made by their employees, doubling or even tripling your impact! Your HR department can guide you through your employer’s matching gift program. If you are not sure if your employer matches charitable giving, click on this tool that allows you to search for your company’s matching gift guidelines, eligibility requirements, submission deadlines and direct links to matching gift forms.
  • Combined Federal Campaign: Federal, state and local government employees can support Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance through payroll deductions as part of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). OCRA’s CFC number is 11154.

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