Jill Doimer and the late Judy Morris created Ovarian Awareness of Kentucky in April 2001. Judy had ovarian cancer and no support group existed in Louisville at the time of her diagnosis. She wanted that to change for other women who were diagnosed. Jill’s mother lived in another state and had ovarian cancer. Jill and Judy met on the internet in the Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR) Ovarian Cancer Problems Discussion List Group. They decided to work together to form an alliance and raise awareness about ovarian cancer in the Louisville community.
One step at a time, like planting seedlings that grow into mighty oak trees, Ovarian Awareness of Kentucky grew to become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Together Jill and Judy pledged to reach surrounding communities and the entire state by holding free educational seminars, attending health fairs to distribute information on symptoms and distributing information to gynecologists, libraries and area health departments through direct mail.
Jill and Judy found they needed to include women diagnosed with any gynecological cancer, as there were no support groups available for them either. They partnered with Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance to learn how to take the steps to reach their goals. They attended training seminars and put their plans into action. The group has since blossomed in many ways. In addition to their initial goals, they now speak to third-year medical students at the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky as part of OCRA’s “Survivors Teaching Students” program.