New Woman to Woman Programs
With the help of QVC, we were able to give Woman to Woman grants to 6 new sites this year! Joining the Woman to Woman family in 2015 are:
- The University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama
- Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey
- Shanti Project / Kaiser Permanente Northern California Gynecologic Oncology Program, San Francisco
- Northside Hospital Cancer Center in Atlanta, Georgia
- University of Tennessee Cancer Institute in Knoxville, Tennessee
- Upstate Cancer Center in Syracuse, New York
This brings the total number of Woman to Woman program sites to 22. We look forward to working with them!
Introducing the 2015 Woman to Woman Researcher
We are excited to introduce a new feature, our Woman to Woman Researcher! In an effort to help you get to know some of the amazing scientists dedicating their lives to cancer research, each year OCRF will designate one of our researchers the Woman to Woman Researcher for the year. We’ll introduce you to these amazing people, and will update you periodically on the progress of their research over time. The 2015 Woman to Woman researcher is Anna Lokshin, PhD. Dr. Lokshin is a Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh, and a recipient of the OCRF Program Project Development Grant.
OCRF: Tell us about yourself.
Dr. Anna Lokshin: I was born in what was then known as Leningrad in the former USSR, which is now called St. Petersburg in Russia. My family includes my daughter, who also became a biologist, and my husband, an engineer who builds nuclear power plants. I have many hobbies but my love of pets is the strongest. I have a real zoo at home! I have 3 dogs, 5 cats, a 470 gallon aquarium with coral, seahorses, and pipefish, as well as a freshwater tank and several terrariums with turtles, chameleons, frogs, and lizards. I also love scuba diving (I just came back from Fiji!), skiing, canoeing, and windsurfing. I also love to read when I have the time!
OCRF: Did you always want to be a scientist?
AL: Yes, I was interested in science from a very young age. When I was five years old I started saying I wanted to be a biologist!
OCRF: What motivated you to focus on ovarian cancer research?
AL: Ovarian cancer is the deadliest cancer in women and is largely asymptomatic so it is difficult to diagnose. I still remember learning that although primary chemotherapy is often successful, recurrence is common, so it still has a high mortality rate. Therefore, I focused my efforts on finding biomarkers for early detection and studies of pre-neoplastic lesions for chemoprevention.
OCRF: What does your OCRF-funded research project focus on?
AL: The OCRF-funded project is focused on mechanisms of early ovarian tumorigenesis (tumor production), specifically on how growing precancerous lesion modifies its microenvironment to make it more conducive to its own progression. This project will allow us be one of the first groups focusing on these mechanisms and developing experimental tools.
OCRF: What do you like best about your career as a scientist?
AL: What I love most is the continuous, creative stimulation of learning new mechanisms. I can’t get enough of discovering yet another mysterious biological process of the human body!
To learn more about Dr. Lokshin and her work with OCRF, you can visit her page here.
Bodacious Bras at Stony Brook Cancer Center
Stony Brook Cancer Center was awarded the Woman to Woman grant in the fall of 2014 and immediately became an enthusiastic and dedicated member of the Woman to Woman family. Less than a year after their start, they introduced their first Woman to Woman fundraiser, Bodacious Bras for a Cure, an auction featuring custom designed works of art in support of cancer patients and survivors. The designers in this year’s event, which was held on April 16, 2015, included Clinton Kelly, of What Not to Wear fame and current co-host of The Chew, That Meatball Place, Girl Scout Troop 2771, and The Richard and Mary Morrison Foundation, which dedicated their bra to Linda Bily, Stony Brook’s Woman to Woman program coordinator. Ms. Bily and her amazing team were able to raise $5,000 by selling 22 bras, the net proceeds of which are going toward the Woman to Woman program. Congratulations to the Stony Brook team for a great event!
Woman to Woman and Ovarian Cycle Partnership
OCRF’s Ovarian Cycle® is an indoor cycling event designed to raise awareness and valuable funds for ovarian cancer research. Ovarian Cycle events are organized by volunteers and are now held in 14 states and Washington D.C..
As some of you already know, Woman to Woman and Ovarian Cycle are pairing up to support one another! Any Woman to Woman site that participates in a local Ovarian Cycle event in their community will receive 20% of the proceeds of the event (up to $20,000). This is a great way to raise help funds to support your Woman to Woman program.
A great example of this new partnership was just this past April, when Ovarian Cycle came to Chicago. University of Chicago’s Woman to Woman program started just last fall, so Dr. Nita Lee, Woman to Woman physician champion at University of Chicago Medicine, and Dr.Fay Hlubocky, the program coordinator, jumped at the opportunity to join the Ovarian Cycle event for the first time. Not only were they able to raise money for OCRF and their own Woman to Woman program, but they were also able to spend time with patients and their families and share their support and enthusiasm for a program they believe in.
“We had a great time and were so impressed with the organization and energy this event created,” said Dr. Lee. “It was really wonderful to be involved and to share first hand our appreciation for the support of our developing Woman to Woman program.”
It was a great success – the University of Chicago helped raise $10,000 for their Woman to Woman program! – and a lot of fun.
Pictured here from left to right: Fay Hlubocky, Dr. Gini Fleming, medical oncology at UC, Jenna Eisenberg, one of the Ovarian Cycle organizers, and Dr. Lee.
Inspired by the success of other groups, the Woman to Woman team at Baylor College of Medicine had their first annual Ovarian Cycle ride in Houston just this past weekend. If you’re interested in starting an Ovarian Cycle event, contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to find an Ovarian Cycle ride near you.
Woman to Woman on QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE!
OCRF just held our 18th annual Super Saturday New York on July 25, 2015! It was a great day of shopping, food, and family activities at Nova’s Ark Project in Water Mill, New York. One of the sponsors of the event, QVC, does a life broadcast from the event. During the broadcast, for the past three years, QVC has highlighted a Woman to Woman site. Last year we heard from the women at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, and this year it was Stony Brook’s turn to be in the spotlight! Renee Scott, a Woman to Woman mentor coordinator and cancer survivor was interviewed, as well as other participants in the program. You can watch the broadcast segments here.
Stay in Touch!
We love hearing from Woman to Woman participants (patients and mentors!) about how the program is making an impact on their lives. We invite you to drop us a line, tell us a story, and share your thoughts! Email Emily at email@example.com.
If you would like to learn more and receive updates from Woman to Woman you can join our mailing list!