MIOCA in the news:
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance Annual Conference
This year’s conference in Washington DC marked the 15th anniversary of the Alliance and MIOCA Vice President Marcie Paul attended. The 4-day national event featured informational sessions on clinical trials, research updates, drug shortages, genetics, Healthcare Reform as it relates to cancer patients and much more. One of the many highlights was high school student Jack Andraka, winner of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, discussing his award-winning test for ovarian cancer detection. The conference concluded with a full slate of Advocacy Day meetings on Capitol Hill. Marcie met with several Michigan and Indiana legislators, including Senator Debbie Stabenow.
View conference materials and read more about the topics, speakers and Advocacy Day meetings in EVENTS (scroll down to PAST EVENTS).
Meeting with Senator Stabenow's Staff
Alex Scheff, Senator Stabenow’s Health Policy Legislative Assistant made his annual visit to Michigan last month to meet with a select few constituent groups, which included MIOCA. Pam Dahlmann, Marcie Paul, Peggy Pitt and Terrie Karebian represented us at the meeting. Barb McCallahan, Senator Stabenow’s Director of Community Affairs also attended. Several issues of critical importance to women with ovarian cancer were discussed. This included federal research funding and the national shortage of some life saving medications (chemotherapy and anesthesia) required to treat ovarian cancer.
One legislative attempt to help mitigate the drug shortages is the reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, which Congress passed at the end of May and Senator Stabenow supported. It has new provisions that improve the FDA’s inspection process for foreign manufacturing facilities and calls for advance notice of potential shortages. However, we discussed how some problems would likely remain and that it is important to keep attention on the issue. For this reason we will continue to work with the Alliance and the American Cancer Society to ensure government responsiveness, but we need your help. Please continue to tell your legislators how these shortages are threatening patient care and by sharing your story with us, we can help make sure Congress hears your voice.
Regarding research funding, we thanked Senator Stabenow for responding to our call to sign onto the Menendez-Snowe letter requesting an increase in DoD funding for FY 2013. But we also talked about the need to continue to contact Congress throughout the appropriations process to ensure the final budget contains the $20 million funding level.
Alex indicated that Senator Stabenow would again sponsor a resolution designating September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. We are very appreciative of this, as well as the opportunity to meet with her staff and hear our concerns.
MIOCA on the air
MIOCA Vice President, Marcie Paul recently appeared on WGVU’s Family Health Matters, which aired in the western Michigan area following the documentary, “The Whisper: The Silent Crisis of Ovarian Cancer”. WGVU is a PBS affiliate located in Grand Rapids and for more than a decade, Family Health Matters has offered an in-depth examination of health issues affecting people in western Michigan. The half hour television show, with host Shelley Irwin, covered several topics related to ovarian cancer ranging from survivorship issues to the challenge of early detection. It provided a valuable forum for increasing awareness about this deadly disease and MIOCA’s efforts to fight back.
TEAL OUT benefits MIOCA
We are immensely grateful to the St Mary Catholic Central High School and Airport High School Interact Clubs for organizing a massive TEAL OUT at their recent basketball game. Many thanks to Ray Lauers of St Mary’s and Gail Meyer of Airport for their leadership as well as the basketball teams and entire community for ice cream social, raffle and t-shirt sales that benefited MIOCA. We were honored to be presented with the donation at halftime of this spirited rivalry.
Thank you and Go Jets, Falcons and Team Teal!
Heaven’s Newest Little Angel
MIOCA deeply mourns the death of 8 year old Mariel Almendras. She was diagnosed with Sertoli-Leydig ovarian cancer in 2009 at the age of 6 and was taken from us on Thanksgiving Day.
Mariel first brought joy to MIOCA when she helped during our first Turn The Towns Teal campaign for National Ovarian Cancer Month. She had many dreams to advance ovarian cancer treatment, awareness and fundraising. We hope to make them a reality for her and all of our fallen heroines. Please join us in supporting Mariel’s family with prayers and continued ovarian cancer awareness.
Thank you for Swimming for a Cure
MIOCA sends a special thanks to the Dundee Varsity Girls Swim Team for the tremendously successful fundraising effort, “Swimming for a Cure”. Leading the effort were Baleigh Schuler, in honor of her mother and ovarian cancer survivor Janet Schuler, in addition to Co-captains Brooke Edwards and Hailey Buhl and their parents. MIOCA salutes them; they are all champions both in and out of the water!