The Overview: March 2021

The snow is (finally!) melting in the areas where many of us at OCRA work and live, the COVID vaccine is rolling out, and there is so much work being done to improve the lives of the ovarian cancer community … we can’t help but feel hopeful. Read on to discover the latest, and perhaps your mood will be lifted as well.


Research OCRA
  • Dr. Dineo Khabele, a member of OCRA’s Scientific Advisory Committee, spoke at our 2020 Ovarian Cancer National Conference about the racial disparities in ovarian cancer. Addressing these issues, Dr. Khabele says, is critical from a moral and economic standpoint. And in doing so, it will lead to better care for all of us.
  • Many women will feel ovarian pain in their lifetimes and it might understandably cause concern. Here is some information that can help explain what ovary pain feels like, what causes it, and what next steps you may want to take.
  • Speaking of metaphors, what does a row of old-fashioned telephone operators working furiously at a blinking switchboard have to do with breakthroughs in ovarian cancer treatment? Meet OCRA grantee Dr. Rugang Zhang and find out!


Advocacy OCRA
  • More than 200 people attended our first ever virtual Spring Advocacy Day, learning about the policy issues we fight for and attending 243 meetings with elected officials. We’re excited about all that we can accomplish, together, in the weeks and months ahead.
  • Speaking of the power of our collective voices, here’s a look back on all that we accomplished in the past year. Pretty impressive, considering we last gathered in D.C. – toting hand sanitizer and bumping elbows – just as the world was shutting down.
  • OCRA recently joined 125 other organizations, signing onto a letter to President Biden and leaders of state public health departments asking for prioritization of the COVID vaccine for patients with cancer and survivors of cancer. You can read the whole letter here.
  • PARP inhibitors have proven to be particularly valuable in improving progression-free survival for patients with certain types of ovarian cancer. But unfortunately, these gains come at a high financial cost to many patients, with a recent study showing that Medicare beneficiaries are the hardest hit.


Support OCRA
  • What makes you feel beautiful? How do you discuss your diagnosis with kids and grandkids? What improves your mood? These questions and more are answered by those in the OCRA Inspire Online Community and shared in our blog series ‘Inspired Advice.’
  • Penny Free is an ovarian cancer survivor who does not shy away from the tough conversations or harsh realities of living with the disease. But she has created mantras for daily living that help her find purpose and meaning. Learn how she seeks to be inspired.
  • Individuals with stage II-IV ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer who have undergone surgery and completed chemotherapy within six months (ongoing maintenance therapy is OK) and who are in clinical remission are invited to participate in an exercise study.


  • March 17 is the last day of our ‘23 for Hope Challenge’ and we’ve raised more than $13,000! Every 23 minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. So we asked our community to raise awareness and support in a 23-day challenge that encouraged folks to do 23 minutes of any kind of fitness, donate $23 to OCRA, and tag 23 of their friends on social media to join in as well. But just because the Challenge officially ended doesn’t mean you can’t keep it going!
  • Save the date!! Our Ovarian Cancer National Conference will take place – virtually – September 28th through October 1st. We’re building on the success of last year and adding even more features. Stay tuned for more information. We can’t wait to ‘gather’ again!
  • Speaking of gathering, after a year of largely virtual fundraising events, we have a few in-person fitness fundraisers coming up! Learn how Mill Valley, CA and St. Louis Ovarian Cycles are planning to safely bring people together to raise funds for ovarian cancer research.
#23forHope Community Posts


Ways to Give OCRA
  • Heroes don’t wear capes, scale walls or lift cars. They are ordinary people who, in some small way, make the world a better place. You can be an OCRA Hero when you raise funds to support our mission and those touched by the disease. Whether you create an event, start an online fundraiser, participate in a fitness challenge or turn your birthday into a cause for donation, the possibilities are endless. And we are here to support you every step of the way.
  • Speaking of online fundraisers, if you’re on Facebook, raising funds could not be easier. It’s a great way to reach those closest to you, and it takes just a couple clicks to set up. Last year, our Facebook community raised almost $780,000. Can you help us top that number in 2021? Get started here!
  • We spoke with an OCRA Hero recently who found her passion in an unexpected way. Meet Maite Monardes-Gonzalez, a 15-year-old in Santiago, Chile, who was so inspired by Madeline Kahn in the movie Clue, that she dedicated her Christmas to raising funds for ovarian cancer research.

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