Going Online to Garner Support and Awareness

As we gear up for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, we are turning our attention to two OCRA Heroes who are harnessing the power of everyday technology to garner support for our community and educate others about ovarian cancer via online fundraising campaigns for OCRA. Read on to learn more about their stories and the inspiring women who sparked their efforts.  

Sam Bonaddio: Online DIY Campaign

“My mom being diagnosed with cancer has put so much into perspective about what really matters,” said Sam Bonaddio, who was driven to raise awareness and donations for ovarian cancer research after her mother, Leann Adams, was diagnosed with the disease. “I appreciate all the moments now – sharing a meal, talking on the phone, watching her with her grandchildren, etc. I’m hoping my support of OCRA will give everyone more ‘moments.’”

Sam feels particularly passionate about spreading the message of the importance of research, as it was her participation in a study that brought about her mother’s ovarian cancer diagnosis. The research study included genetic testing that resulted in Sam being notified that she carries a BRCA2 gene variant, which is associated with an increased risk of developing ovarian and other cancers. Her whole family was able to get tested and it was discovered that her mother has the same genetic mutation. “My mom courageously made the decision to undergo a prophylactic hysterectomy, which led to us finding out that she had ovarian cancer,” Sam explained. “I wanted to share our story to help people understand the impact that research can have, have open and honest conversations with family members, and advocate for their health.”

To raise awareness and support for ovarian cancer research, Sam turned to the internet to spread the word and connect with loved ones across the globe. “I chose an online DIY campaign mainly because we have family and friends all over the world who wanted to do something to support my mom’s journey — this was the first and easiest step to do that,” Sam noted. “It allowed me to really focus my time and energy on my mom and family while also knowing I was making a difference with the easy step of just sharing a link.”

This OCRA Hero encourages others who are contemplating starting fundraising campaigns to go ahead and do it. “It wasn’t difficult at all, and you’d be surprised at the outpouring of support that comes flooding your way,” she said. “What I thought was just creating a fundraiser ended up connecting us to so many people going through the same thing or something similar, or allowed our friends and family to offer their support through meals, mowing our lawn, visiting my mom during/after chemo, etc. It also makes me feel like I’m doing something to make a difference on a greater scale.”

Lawrence Green: Online Tribute Campaign

OCRA Hero Lawrence Green is also motivated to make a broad impact through his online tribute campaign in memory of his late wife, Jessica “Jess” Moffitt, who passed away on January 11, 2022. “My goal of creating a tribute page was not only to raise money but also to create awareness about ovarian cancer and the proactive steps females can take,” Lawrence explained. “It was so important to Jess that I advocate and spread awareness of ovarian cancer.”

In addition to educating the wider public about this disease, Lawrence is focused on specifically helping the ovarian cancer community by raising critical donations to advance research and support patients. “Ovarian cancer is still a relatively underfunded area of cancer medicine,” he noted. “I hope the money we’ve raised will continue to support further research on the path to a cure, as well as provide much-needed support services for patients and their families that have to go through the same journey that Jess did.” 

Lawrence recalled how the couple first became involved with OCRA soon after Jessica was diagnosed and how they were grateful to come away with new knowledge about clinical trials and treatments after attending OCRA’s Ovarian Cancer National Conference in 2021. “It’s cliché but never give up; new treatments and clinical trials are advancing all the time,” he noted for those currently navigating an ovarian cancer diagnosis. “Most importantly, lean on those around you who love you and want to be there for you on this journey.” 

Jessica’s loved ones hope to continue to make a difference in her memory for all who are affected by this disease. “Jess was such a warm, friendly and magnetic person that her passing and battle with cancer had an impact on all that knew her, whether it be close friends and family or work colleagues and clients,” Lawrence said. His employer, Redzone, and Jessica’s employer for eight years, Unite Hair, have matched donations by their employees to Lawrence’s tribute campaign. Jessica’s friends also rallied around the cause by fundraising in her memory through their respective businesses (1 Eleven Collective and Luna B). “OCRA makes it easy to set up tribute pages,” Lawrence said. “And the amount raised — whether it be big or small — all counts.” The combined fundraising efforts in memory of Jessica have raised almost $60,000 so far. “I could not be more grateful to those who have donated, Lawrence said. “It’s been an honor to raise money for a cause that I know is providing light and support for women and families that have to walk this path.”

OCRA Heroes are making an impact — and you can join them.
Learn how you can make a difference for our community through an online fundraising campaign of your own.

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