The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance changed my understanding of life as a survivor of ovarian cancer. First, as a client, I learned about my disease through their education programs. Then I learned about empowerment, testifying on behalf of other women with the disease. Through their outreach efforts, we engaged the underserved and under-informed. We became the voice of patients to healthcare providers and policy makers, and made substantive change. This is a charity that affects every aspect of ovarian cancer - patients, clinicians, researchers, donors, caregivers, lawmakers and the public. Serving on their board is the most honorable role of my life.
As an oncology nurse and a leader of one of the Partner Member groups, I have been involved with OCNA for the last 14 years. It has been an incredible partnership with the main goal of improving the lives of women with ovarian cancer. As a healthcare professional, it is the place I turn to when I need resources for my patients. I have had the privilege to serve on the board of directors for the last 6 years. It is an honor to work on the OCNA team.
Nine years ago, I turned to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance after losing a dear friend to ovarian cancer. I was interested in building an organization in my community to adavocate for ovarian cancer. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance assisted me tremendously with this process. They have guided and supported my organization all along the way. It is a true privledge to work with the Alliance.
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance is the leader in new and innovative ways to get the word out there about ovarian cancer. OCNA's Survivors Teaching Students program takes a proactive approach by organizing survivor volunteers to present their stories to Medical, Nursing and Physician Assistants students. By putting a face to a disease, these volunteers are able to educate these students as they enter the medical field, on the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer with the hopes of red flagging patients and diagnosing ovarian cancer sooner than it might have ordinarily been diagnosed. The responses to the STS program are staggering. Students leave not only teary eyed as they are totally engaged by these women, but ideally, these students leave the classroom educated about ovarian cancer, what to look for, signs and symptoms, and what to do if they suspect a women has ovarian cancer. OCNA is always at the cutting edge in their delivery of programs, education, advocacy and overall support to women who or know someone who is afflicted with this deadly disease. I have seen many not for profits, however, OCNA exemplifies "always trying harder" to provide the best support on all levels for such a worthy cause. Ovarian cancer has not only been known as the silent killer, but equally important, there has been silence in the overall awareness of this disease. OCNA is changing that and is really making a difference.
This organization is bringing together women with ovarian cancer and their supporters to help raise awareness, provide a sense of community and change perception. Surviving is possible, there are recognizable symptoms. Learn them and protect yourself and your the women in your life.