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Please see our news in the archive to the right.


November 15, 2015

Ovarian cancer advocate and MIOCA Board Member, Janet Schuler, recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP) sponsored by the Department of Defense.  Janet was nominated for participation in the program by MIOCA.  As a consumer reviewer, she was a full voting member, along with prominent scientists, at meetings in Washington DC to help determine how the $20M appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2015 will be spent on future ovarian cancer research.

Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of individuals with ovarian cancer and patients, family members, and women at risk for the disease when they prepare comments on the impact of the research on issues such as prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life after treatment.  Commenting on serving as a consumer reviewer, Janet said that "It was an interesting and sometimes overwhelming task but I was excited to represent MIOCA and have the opportunity to do this."

Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the scientific merit of ovarian cancer research applications since 1997.  To date, more than 90 consumer reviewers have served on ovarian cancer panels alongside scientists in the review process.  Colonel Wanda L. Salzer, M.D., Director of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, expressed her appreciation for the perspectives of the consumer advocates in the scientific review sessions.  "The Consumer Reviewers on each panel are instrumental in helping the scientists understand the patient's perspective and provide valuable insight into the potential impact of the proposed project.  They bring with them a sense of urgency and remind all of the human element in medical research."
For more information about the Dept. of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program, click here.

Raising Awareness Across Metro Detroit

September 14, 2015

JoAnne Purtan (WXYZ TV Action News at Noon) and MIOCA Secretary, Michelle Shepherd, discuss the goal of awareness activities which is to start a conversation about ovarian cancer.  Symptoms are shared along with what to do if you are symptomatic.  Watch news clip here.

SMCC volleyball coach forms cancer-fighting team

August 17, 2015

Karen O'Brien never thought cancer would find her.

The St. Mary Catholic Central volleyball coach is an accomplished athlete who has been coaching at the high school and collegiate levels for 30 years.  

After getting over the initial shock, O'Brien decided to make the fight not just against her own cancer.  She formed, "Teal Attack," a movement using high school and collegiate athletic events to raise awareness and donations for ovarian cancer support through the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance.    Read full article here.  Also learn more about MIOCA's Teal Attack program by clicking on the Teal Attack tab to the left.

MIOCA announces Turn the Village Teal Fundraising Competition

MIOCA announces Turn the Village Teal Fundraising Competition

August 14, 2015

Excitement is building for the upcoming awareness event in Rochester Hills.

Once again, we have been asked how participants can reach out to their family and friends for support of the run/walk.  We are proud to partner with area restaurants and announce a fundraising competition.   Fundraising teams have begun forming.  To create your own fundraising team and page, click here

Working together to raise awareness and funds for MIOCA.

The fundraising team for Turn the Village Teal that raises the highest donation total will celebrate together after the 5K Fun Run/Walk at the Village of Rochester Hills in a personal tent furnished with a private masseuse and a Taste of the Village.  (Food and massages provided for up to 12 people) The Village is known for its wonderful food and you will get to sample treats from many restaurants including B Spot Burgers, Bravo!, Noodles, Max & Erma's and many more.

Whether or not you choose to participate in the team fundraising, please know that we are so grateful for the support of those who have already registered and look forward to seeing you all on Saturday, September 19.

Milan scheduled for Turn the Town Teal to fight cancer.

August 11, 2015

Lisa Garnes was quietly going about her life, when she noticed some odd symptoms. Lack of appetitie, bloating, tailbone pain. In August 2013, she finally found out what the problem was. "There is no test for ovarian cancer," Garnes says. The only way to find out for sure, was for the surgeon to "go in" and look. A long-time employee of the emergency medicine department at the U of M hospital, she found herself entering the ER as a patient.  To read the full article click here.

Lisa Garnes will join other MIOCA volunteers throughout Michigan to raise awareness of ovarian cancer by tying teal ribbons in her community.  To learn more about tying teal ribbons in your community, neighborhood, workplace, or home, contact Marcia Gurche, MIOCA's Turn the Towns Teal ® Coordinator.

Volunteers Needed Across Michigan

Volunteers Needed Across Michigan

July 11, 2015

Turn the Towns Teal® is a national campaign to bring awareness of ovarian cancer to communities throughout the country during the month of September. MIOCA will once again be purchasing and supplying at no cost the materials to volunteers who want to turn Michigan's towns and cities teal.  In addition to tying teal ribbons in prominent locations, MIOCA volunteers will also hang posters which list the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Our reach has grown every year!  Our efforts paid off last year with nearly 50 cities participating.  We hope to continue to grow this awareness effort this year.

It's time to start planning. Because approval is required from your local governing officials, the process can take a bit of time. Please join us to spread teal throughout the state.

If you would like to learn more about how to tie teal ribbons in your community, your place of business, or your neighborhood, please contact Marcia Gurche. Creativity is welcomed as not every city has a prime location for "tealing." However, there are other ways to raise awareness with the teal ribbons which MIOCA provides for this statewide effort.

Let's come together to turn all of Michigan teal during the month of September!

Fighting the Deadliest Reproductive Cancer in Women

June 9, 2015

Sadie Hughes miNBC 25

In this interview, MIOCA volunteer and ovarian cancer survivor, Kim Thiel, discusses her diagnosis and the impact that it has had on her life.  Sadie Hughes also interviews Denise Railling at Covenant Cancer Care Center who encourages women to listen to their bodies and advocate for themselves. 

If you want to get involved in helping women fight ovarian cancer,  people across Mid-Michigan are preparing to fight back against the disease. On Friday, June 12th, survivors and supporters will gather in Grand Blanc for  the Teal Track and Trail run to raise awareness for ovarian cancer. The proceeds from the event will go the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MIOCA). 

Read the entire article and watch the video here.

Teal Track and Trail Raises Awareness

June 3, 2015

Saginaw, MI (WNEM) Channel 5 CBS:  During this informative interview, Teal Track and Trail event coordinator, Marie Heath, shares information about ovarian cancer, the upcoming 5K event, and MIOCA.  In memory of their daughter, Wendy Heath Heiser, and in honor of all women who are battling ovarian cancer, Kirk and Marie Heath will host Teal Track and Trail on Friday, June 12 in Grand Blanc.  Learn more by watching this video.

Ann Arbor welcomes first ever Goddess 5k cancer walk & run on Mother's Day

May 10, 2015

Channel 7 Detroit - WXYZ ABC  (Posted 6:54 am)  People will come together to not only celebrate Mother's Day, but to celebrate each other.  Participants can enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow females as they run or walk their way through the city’s scenic downtown district. To watch the pre-race video coverage, click here .

Raising MIOCA's Voice in Washington, D.C.

Raising MIOCA's Voice in Washington, D.C.

March 12, 2015

Eighty survivors and supporters from across the country gathered in Washington D.C. on March 10, 2015 for Ovarian Cancer Advocacy Day. With ten women attending from Michigan, the state was well represented at this event organized by the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. Six of the ten women received an advocacy travel scholarship from the Lori Haber Buckfire Foundation. MIOCA is very grateful for the support of our advocacy efforts. 

MIOCA advocates were able to meet with staff from several Senate and House offices.  Survivors and supporters shared personal stories and detailed the need for ovarian cancer research funding. Additionally, the need for funding of ovarian cancer education and awareness was discussed. 

For those who couldn't travel to DC, both OCNA and MIOCA encourage you to contact Senator Stabenow, Senator Peters, and your US Representative.  Please see MIOCA's advocate page for more information.

MIOCA Announces Geri Fournier Ovarian Cancer Research Grant Recipients

MIOCA Announces Geri Fournier Ovarian Cancer Research Grant Recipients

March 3, 2015

MIOCA is proud to announce the recipients of the inaugural Geri Fournier Ovarian Cancer Research Grant awards.  MIOCA is committed to advocating for women and working for improved treatment outcomes. One way we further our mission is to fund innovative ovarian cancer research. In September, 2014, MIOCA donated $5,000 to the newly announced Ovarian Cancer Dream Team. This year, because of tremendous support from donors, MIOCA's Board of Directors is thrilled to provide $25,000 to fund research here in Michigan through the Geri Fournier Ovarian Cancer Research Grant awards.

Lan Gardner Coffman, M.D., PhD $10,000
Hematology/Oncology Fellow
University of Michigan Health System
Defining the origin and role of carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cells in the ovarian cancer microenvironment

Karen McLean, MD, PhD $10,000
Assistant Professor, Gynecologic Oncology
Translational Oncology Program
University of Michigan Heatlh System
Therapeutic Inhibition of the DEK Oncoprotein in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

Ramandeep Rattan, PhD $5,000
Assistant Scientist,
Division Gynecologic Oncology
Henry Ford Hospital
A preclinical trial of olaparib and metformin in BRCA intact ovarian cancer mouse model

MIOCA wishes to thank these scientists and the other applicants for their efforts to discover ways in which ovarian cancer patients can be treated more successfully.

MIOCA thanks the Lori Haber Buckfire Foundation

MIOCA thanks the Lori Haber Buckfire Foundation

February 3, 2015

MIOCA is proud to announce that six women will receive funds from the Lori Haber Buckfire Foundation to attend Advocacy Day in Washington D.C. on March 9-10. One hundred women from across the country will meet with legislators to discuss the critical need for funding of ovarian cancer research and education programs. In total, ten women from Michigan will advocate on behalf of the many survivors in the state.  Janet Schuler, one of the award recipients, states, "I am so honored to have received one of the scholarships. It is really a tremendous gift which the Lori Haber Buckfire Foundation provides to us as survivors. I am excited to travel with other MIOCA supporters and to advocate in D.C." 

Advocacy Day in Washington D.C.

January 5, 2015

Contact:  Pam Dahlmann


Join survivors, caregivers and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance in Washington, DC, to advocate for the programs and research that pave the way for better treatments for ovarian cancer. Your elected officials need to hear from YOU in 2015 to ensure that ovarian cancer research and education programs remain a Congressional priority.  Registration is free. Attendees are responsible for travel and lodging costs in Washington D.C. Don't miss out!  Registration closes January 31, 2015. Click here to register.  For help with travel and lodging expenses, please submit an application for the Lori Haber Buckfire Advocacy Travel Scholarship.  Completed applications are due by Sunday, January 25.