The Mathilda Fund
It’s always personal...
In 2009 I was diagnosed with a rare type of ovarian cancer. Trust me, it threw me for a loop since ten years earlier, I had my ovaries removed. Sadly, it turned out that I had inherited a genetic defect that left me prone to this devastating disease. As a health care executive, I knew I had to do something positive. All I could think of were all the other women, like myself fighting for time. I placed my bet on the scant research on treatment drugs. So I hunted for the best research foundation I could find, The Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA).
One of the best features of the Fund, was it enabled people like me to set up their own fundraising site. So, in honor of my grandmother, Mathilda, who we believe died of ovarian/breast cancer in the early 1920's when treatments were strictly palliative. Mathilda's name had been swallowed in our family's history. There are no photos of her and no living relative could remember her name, only that she died of a 'woman's disease.' I finally found her in ancestory.com. For me, Mathilda symbolizes the thousands of women just like her, lost in history, who had minimal care. She's a symbol of how far we've come.
When I was first diagnosed in 2009, I was expecting my first grandchild. I was afraid I'd never know her so I wrote Almost a Princess, as an ode to life and to share my voice through excerpts of my family's stories of strength. Now, seven grandchildren later, I've ridden the crest of amazing scientific discoveries - drugs that both treat and manage ovarian cancer. No doubt, I am deeply grateful for all the special moments in my life!
The The Mathilda Fund, is twelve years old and has raised close to $70,000 - mostly from small donations. It's enough to fund a small study. All donations are channeled through the Mathilda Fund into the large OCRA and used for research. With your help, we can and will find better ways to prevent, treat, and cure this disease.
100% of the royalties from my first book Almost a Princess: My Life as a Two-Time Cancer Survivor were donated to OCRA through The Mathilda Fund. The book is my memoir of surviving both breast and ovarian cancer, named a finalist for the 2012 Indie Book Awards. If you would like to read more about my story you can reach OCRA's profile piece entitled "Writing for her Life" HERE.
Please consider supporting The Mathilda Fund by making a secure online donation. Just click on the donate button above. If you prefer to pay by check please make them payable to the OCRA and note "Mathilda Fund" in the memo line.
Checks should be sent to:
Mathilda Fund, Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance
14 Pennsylvania Plaza
New York, NY 10122
On behalf of my children and grandchildren, I offer my heartfelt thanks for your support.
The OCRA organization is led by a team of exciting, energized individuals and the scientific board consists of pre-eminent leaders in the field of gyn-oncology. In addition, the entire operation is run with minimal overhead (approximately 10%) with virtually all other monies directed into research. The following quote OCRA's website describes their mission:
"Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA) is the largest private philanthropy in the United States dedicated exclusively to funding ovarian cancer research. Our mission is to fund scientific research that leads to more effective identification, treatment, and ultimately a cure for ovarian cancer. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, our investigators are developing innovative strategies for early detection; exploring the genetics that increase risk for ovarian cancer; understanding the underlying molecular biology of the disease; identifying new and better targets for treatment; and deciphering how and why ovarian cancer spreads, and how to stop it."
Since 1998, OCRA has invested nearly $45 million in ovarian cancer research through grants to scientists at more than 60 leading medical centers in the United States.
Cancer is a complex disease, and making scientific advancements requires an extensive and continuing investment in laboratory research. The majority of ovarian cancer research funding in the United States comes from government sources—the National Cancer Institute or the Department of Defense. Unfortunately, federal funding for ovarian cancer research has been stagnant for many years and the grant process can be lengthy.
OCRA is different. OCRA is more nimble in its ability to fund the most novel approaches to combating this disease. OCRA is able to solicit, review, and fund worthy applications in a relatively short time frame, which not only leads to more rapid scientific progress, but facilitates the professional growth of the most promising new investigators in the field of ovarian cancer. Without sufficient grant support, researchers might otherwise turn their attention to other, better funded diseases. OCRA funding effectively enhances the breadth of the research enterprise in this nation directed specifically to ovarian cancer research. And all OCRA research grants are approved by our world-class Scientific Advisory Committee [this should be a link to the SAC list] comprised of leaders in the field, thus ensuring the integrity and caliber of the selections.
With your support, OCRA continues to take the lead in funding the best and most promising ovarian cancer research in our quest to defeat this terrible disease." Learn more about OCRA by clicking HERE.