National Superhero Day may bring to mind fictional characters swooping in to the save the day with feats of strength, but here at Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, we celebrate the real-life OCRA Heroes who are doing their part to save lives in our community.
The below heroes may not possess superhuman strength, powers of invisibility or the ability to fly, but they heeded the call to action to help the ovarian cancer community by raising critical funds for research, each in a unique way.
Every day, they inspire us. We hope they inspire you, too. Because it doesn’t take a superhero to stop ovarian cancer. It takes all of us working together.
Noel Rademacher has been making teal-themed face masks since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with a two-fold mission in mind: help people protect themselves/others from the virus and help raise money for ovarian cancer research. An ovarian cancer survivor herself, Noel has made more than 200 masks so far and donated all proceeds to OCRA.
Andrew Berger turned 28 just a few months after losing his mother Sharon to ovarian cancer. He didn’t feel much like celebrating so instead of a typical party, Andrew held a fundraiser in her honor. That first party brought in more than $40,000 and Andrew has kept the tradition going ever since. Though he skipped an in-person party in 2020 due to the pandemic, he still raised more than $60,000 in memory of his mom.
Sarah Belzer is the president of Coconu, a personal care brand that created the first USDA-certified organic coconut oil personal lubricant. Not only is she helping women reclaim their sexuality through her work, but she is also helping to advance ovarian cancer research by donating a portion of Coconu’s proceeds to OCRA in tribute to her mom, Kathy, who passed away from ovarian cancer.
Amy Hollub doesn’t think of herself as a hero, but this ovarian cancer survivor inspired an initiative that has made a lasting impact on her local community and beyond. The Rock n’ Run event drew 400 participants in its first year and has been going strong ever since, typically bringing in between $75,000-$100,000 annually for ovarian and breast cancer research. Due to the pandemic, Amy and her committee reimagined the event as ‘a race at your own pace and dance in your own space’ concept for 2020 and raised $83,000 as a result.
Maite Monardes-Gonzalez has no personal connection to ovarian cancer, but all the Chilean teenager asked for this past Christmas was donations to be made to OCRA in memory of the late comedic actress Madeline Kahn. An ardent fan of the Hollywood icon since first seeing her in the movie Clue, Maite learned about ovarian cancer through Madeline’s story and has since committed herself to an ongoing goal of raising support for research and raising awareness about the disease.
Jonathan Sockolosky wanted to do something big in memory of his mother Shelley after her death from ovarian cancer. But he realized that instead of focusing on a massive endeavor like starting a foundation, he could make an impact just by turning to something he already does. An avid runner, Jonathan started a social media campaign that generates donations based on the miles he logs. He added to his efforts in 2019 with a benefit at a wine bar that brought in $10,000. And when the pandemic forced the cancellation of his event planned for 2020, Jonathan turned to social media once again and raised $32,000 for ovarian cancer research via his virtual fundraiser.
Want to know an easy way to become an OCRA Hero? Create your own Facebook fundraiser for World Ovarian Cancer Day on May 8th.