As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, we have much to be thankful for … an embracing and strong survivor community, supporters who remain ever committed to the cause, and brilliant grantees who are making strides every day in the search for better treatments and a cure for ovarian cancer. Here’s a roundup of what’s happening this month, but if you’d like to get the news as it’s happening, be sure to follow us on social media @ocrahope!
- Physical activity has been touted as important for a whole host of reasons, from bone health to mental health and everything in between. But what are the benefits of exercise for cancer patients, specifically ovarian cancer patients?
- Ronald Buckanovich, M.D., Ph.D., an OCRA grantee, is the senior author of a study published in Science Advances that reveals how certain cells drive immunotherapy resistance in a mouse model of ovarian cancer, and shows that targeting a signaling pathway in these cells improved tumor responses to immunotherapy. Read more as Dr. Buckanovich discusses the significance of these findings.
- Clinical trials are fundamental to the discovery of new and better therapies in the fight against ovarian cancer. Yet enrollment and widespread availability remain a challenge. In an effort to address both financial barriers and inequity in participation, OCRA is urging Congress to pass the DIVERSE (Diversifying Investigations Via Equitable Research Studies for Everyone) Trials Act (H.R. 5030/S. 2706). Read more about what the bill seeks to accomplish and how you can take action today.
- Last week, OCRA held its first ever Fall Advocacy Day, bringing together more than 230 members of the ovarian cancer community, virtually, to advocate for federal programs that are crucial to keeping the wheels of progress in motion. The group represented 46 states and held more than 250 virtual meetings with Members of Congress.
- OCRA is launching a monthly Expressive Arts series that will combine a themed therapeutic creative activity with discussion. These virtual sessions, facilitated by Oncology Social Workers, will provide opportunities to create, explore and share. We are grateful to Merck and GSK for their support of this program. Learn more and register.
- November is Caregivers Awareness month, and OCRA’s Staying Connected virtual support series offers a program for partners, spouses, children and friends of anyone dealing with ovarian cancer. This group meets the fourth Wednesday of every month at 1pm ET. Learn more and register here.
- Shelley O’Keefe is very aware of the toll that an ovarian cancer diagnosis can take, not just on the patient, but on the family. Her husband Kelly was a “mother hen,” taking care of her, the household, and their kids (during the Covid-19 lockdown!) When she finished treatment and began her recovery process, she began to focus on his, as well.
- If you didn’t get a chance to attend our Ovarian Cancer National Conference, or even if you did attend but want to re-watch some of the presentations, videos from each session are now available on our website. Everything from what’s new in research and treatment to sexuality and intimacy, nutrition to tips on managing recurrence — there are 23 videos in all.
- Giving Tuesday, a day of global generosity, is in one week and OCRA is asking everyone in our community to get involved. Just by sharing your ovarian cancer story on social media, you can raise money for lifesaving research — thanks to a generous supporter who will donate $50, up to $25,000, for every post shared. Learn more and help us unlock this match!
The holiday gift giving season is nearly upon us, and it’s easier than ever to support OCRA at the same time as you purchase gifts for everyone on your list.
- If you’re planning to shop with Amazon, choose OCRA as your Amazon Smile charity of choice, and a portion of your purchases will support the fight against ovarian cancer. To date, Amazon shoppers have raised $36,000 for OCRA’s research and programs.
- With Cheerful Giving, you can round up your everyday purchases and donate the spare change to OCRA. A few cents here, a few cents there — every penny gets us one step closer to finding a cure.
And this being the season of giving, we hope you will consider a year end gift to OCRA. Here are some ways that you can make your gift go farther this holiday season:
- Many employers match charitable donations, doubling your impact. Your HR department can guide you or use this tool to search for information on your company’s matching gift program.
- Stock donations can often be more valuable than selling the stock and donating the proceeds. You receive a tax letter for the full market value of the stock and avoid federal capital gains taxes. Your financial advisor can assist you in making a gift of stock and we can provide instructions for electronic transfer.
- If you are age 70 ½ or older, you can make a tax-free donation of up to $100,000 directly from your IRA account. Contact your IRA administrator directly to set up a transfer of funds.