About MOCA

Formed in 1999 by a group of ovarian cancer survivors, MOCA now counts more than 1,000 survivors as members.

We invite you to get involved and become a part of the MOCA family.

Our Mission

Since the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance was founded in 1999, our mission has been to:

  • Create an awareness regarding early warning signs that may be indicative of ovarian cancer.
  • Create and promote resources for support, networking and education for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and their families.
  • Unite and educate individuals, the medical community and organizations to achieve earlier diagnosis, better treatment and a cure for ovarian cancer.
  • Advance ovarian cancer research toward earlier diagnosis, better treatment, and a cure.

Our History

MOCA was started in 1999 by a small group of ovarian cancer survivors who came together to fund ovarian cancer research, raise awareness of the disease, and provide support to women with ovarian cancer and their families.

2016

  • This year was a record breaking year, funding more than $1 million dollars to eleven different ovarian cancer research projects.
  • HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer welcomed more than 3,000 participants, 250 teams and more than $315, 000 raised to fight ovarian cancer.
  • The Black, White and Teal Gala raised over $100,000 dollars with 375 attendees this year- making it possible to fund ovarian cancer research for early detection and cure.
  • Spin it Teal had another amazing  year, raising more than $70,000 towards ovarian cancer research focused on recurrence.

2015

  • MOCA funded more than $662,000 to seven Minnesota researchers dedicated to finding an early detection test, better treatment options and a cure.
  • Expanding research nationally, MOCA also provided $100,000 to Stand Up to Cancer Ovarian Cancer Dream Team. MOCA has now awarded over $5 million to research projects in Minnesota committed to fighting ovarian cancer.
  • MOCA trained more than 1,000 healthcare professionals and students about ovarian cancer. Training took place at Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota, and Minnesota State University, Mankato. These trainings are vital to provide the best care and assistant to those fighting ovarian cancer and their loved ones.
  • For the fourth year in a row, Tie it Teal was a success! More than 3,000 pairs of teal shoelaces and symptom cards were distributed to a variety of different Minnesota youth sports teams.
  • The 16th annual HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer raised more than $300,000 for ovarian cancer research and programming- with a record number of 225 teams!
  • The Black, White, and Teal Gala, with more than 350 attendees MOCA raised $80,000 for additional research and funding.

2014

  • MOCA celebrates our 15th anniversary during 2014.
  • MOCA again breaks research funding records by providing a record $527,000 to five Minnesota ovarian cancer researchers.
  • To mark the 15th year of MOCA’s annual Walk/Run, MOCA debuts a refreshed name for the event – HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer. The 2014 event had the most participants, with nearly 3,500 walkers and runners to support MOCA. A record $300,000 was raised for research, programming and support.
  • MOCA extends our research funding reach on a national level for the first time by becoming involved in the Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) effort with other national ovarian cancer organizations. MOCA contributes $100,000 over a three-year period towards the development of an “Ovarian Cancer Dream Team” of researchers.

2013

  • MOCA awarded a record amount of funding for ovarian cancer research – $450,000 – to ovarian cancer research projects at Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota at MOCA’s Annual Meeting in May 2013. This brings the total of amount of research funding provided by MOCA to more than $4 million.
  • MOCA’s premier event, the Silent No More Walk/Run, brought on a new title sponsor – HOM Furniture. The HOM Silent No More Walk/Run attracted a record crowd at the 14th annual event in 2013, with 3,400 in attendance and more than $275,000 raised for ovarian cancer research and support programs.
  • MOCA continued our highly successful Tie it Teal awareness campaign during September 2013. We again had 50+ youth and high school sports teams wear our Tie it Teal shoelaces to support women and families impacted by ovarian cancer. As part of the campaign. MOCA secured proclamations during the month of September and also worked with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to turn the 35W bridge teal during a night in September. Both the Saint Paul Saints and the Minnesota Twins held Tie it Teal Nights to support the cause.
  • MOCA launched Spin it Teal, our debut spinning event, at spin locations throughout the metro in November 2013. The event raised more than $20,000 for research, support and programming.

2012

  • MOCA awarded a record amount of funding for ovarian cancer research – $690,000 – to ovarian cancer research projects at Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota. This brings the total of amount of research funding provided by MOCA to $3.6 million.
  • MOCA’s premier event, the Silent No More Walk/Run, attracted a record crowd at the 13th annual event in 2012, with more than 3,000 in attendance and $250,000 raised for ovarian cancer research and support programs.
  • MOCA launched the Tie it Teal campaign during September 2012. Tie it Teal is an ovarian cancer symptom awareness campaign designed to get people talking about the disease. More than 100 youth and high school sports teams wore the Tie it Teal shoelaces to support women and families impacted by ovarian cancer. As part of the campaign, MOCA secured proclamations during the month of September and also worked with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to turn the 35W bridge teal during a night in September. Both the Saint Paul Sains and the Minnesota Twins held Tie it Teal Nights to support the cause.
  • MOCA’s medical education program expanded to include outreach to Physician’s Assistant and Nurse Practitioner programs throughout Minnesota.

2011

  • MOCA awarded more than $300,000 in grants to researchers investigating various aspects of ovarian cancer at Minnesota institutions, including the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.
  • MOCA’s public education Survivorship Series touch on topics such as spirituality, the fear of reacurrence, and long-term care after cancer.
  • The MOCA Float was displayed before several hundred runners as they headed to the start of the Spring Fling run in Rochester, Minnesota in May 2011.
  • The Mid Summer Night’s Gala and Molly Cade Memorial Golf Tournament experienced their highest turnouts yet!

2010

  • In 2010, sponsorships and contributions enabled us to fund $250,000 in research aimed at discovering an early detection test, better treatment, and a cure for ovarian cancer.
  • More than 500 people participated in the Molly Cade Memorial Golf Tournament and Mid Summer Night’s Gala. We raised more than $100,000 to support women with ovarian cancer.
  • The 11th Annual Silent No More Walk/Run raised more than $200,000 to support ovarian cancer research and support programs. More than 3,100 people registered for the event.
  • MOCA became Minnesota’s Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE) representative.
  • MOCA announced a new chapter in its educational awareness program called “Preventing Hereditary Cancer: Understanding and Reducing Risks.” The program provides information about understanding, preventing, and reducing the risks of hereditary ovarian and breast cancers to communities that are at high risk for inheriting these cancers.
  • MOCA’s Executive Director, Kathleen Gavin, attended the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) in Washington, DC as one of the 38 advocates to represent different cancer types and groups in AACR’s Scientist-Survivor Program.
  • MOCA was able to expand our awareness outreach with the gift of a professionally designed float to use in parades across Minnesota.
  • The MOCA Dream Awards, a program funded by an anonymous donor to support the dreams of women with ovarian cancer, awarded $25,000 to 10 Minnesota ovarian cancer survivors to fulfill their dreams.
  • Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed the Oral Chemotherapy Parity Act into law. MOCA supported this law that allows Minnesota cancer patients to have greater access to lifesaving oral chemotherapy medicines at no higher costs.
  • MOCA was welcomed into the Rock the Cure family of local charities.
  • The “It Whispers, So Listen” fourth annual benefit concert for ovarian cancer research was bigger than years past.
  • The 2nd Annual Glenwood MOCA Open was a big success thanks to all the golfers and ovarian cancer supporters who showed up to participate.

2009

  • MOCA awarded more than $286,000 for ovarian cancer research at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.
  • MOCA celebrated its 10th anniversary at the Ninth Annual Molly Cade Memorial Golf Tournament and Mid Summer Night’s Gala. KARE 11’s Belinda Jensen emceed the event, and 195 golfers and 370 gala attendees came together to raise $109,000 for ovarian cancer research and programs.
  • During August, the first annual Glenwood MOCA Open golf tournament was held at Minnewaska Golf Course in Glenwood, Minn. More than $8,000 was raised at the event, which was hosted by the family of Marie Ogdahl, who passed away in the spring of 2009 after an eight-year battle with ovarian cancer.

2008

  • MOCA awarded $375,000 for ovarian cancer research to Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota.
  • During September 2008, MOCA launched OvaryAct!, a public awareness campaign. The campaign highlighted ovarian cancer symptoms and was geared for the general public, with billboards in the Twin Cities metro area and bathroom stall advertisements at a number of large venues.
  • In conjunction with the Ninth Annual Silent No More Walk/Run for Ovarian Cancer, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty declared Sept. 13 “Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day.”
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar attended the Walk/Run, along with KARE-11 anchor Julie Nelson as emcee and more than 2,900 participants. The event raised more than $230,000 to support MOCA’s mission.

2007

  • MOCA awarded six research grants for more than $365,000 to researchers at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota, including $25,000 for the first Molly Cade Memorial Research Grant.
  • The Calling All Angels Gala expanded into a series of parties throughout Minnesota with the aim of celebrating with friends and neighbors while spreading awareness of ovarian cancer. More than a dozen parties were held with a total of 500 attendees and $14,000 raised.
  • The Shelly Ross Memorial Meeting Room and Library was dedicated at MOCA’s headquarters in Minneapolis.
  • The first annual meeting of the MOCA Medical Advisory Committee took place at Brackett’s Crossing Country Club in Lakeville, in conjunction the Seventh Annual Molly Cade Memorial Tournament and Gala. It attracted 400 participants and raised more than $100,000 to support MOCA’s mission.

2006

  • MOCA awarded more than $316,000 for ovarian cancer research at Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota.
  • MOCA hired Kathy McGovern as medical education program manager to expand the Grand Rounds program and oversee the Survivors Training Medical Students program, along with other aspects of medical education outreach. During the course of the year, Grand Rounds presentations were made to 535 health care professionals.
  • MOCA launched a Southeastern Minnesota chapter in an effort to better serve members. The first fundraising event was a 12-hour solo marathon swim by Chaplain Mary Johnson of the Mayo Clinic, who raised $10,000 for her effort.
  • On September 11, 2006, MOCA Co-President Merle Rosenberg passed away.
  • MOCA announced the first two recipients of the Anita Lubov Memorial Oncology Scholarship Fund.
  • In November, MOCA purchased its current home, an office building in south Minneapolis, with generous financial support from the Shelly Ross Memorial Fund.

2005

  • MOCA awarded nearly $299,000 for ovarian cancer research at Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota.
  • In May 2005, Lisa McLaughlin and Merle Rosenberg were named co-presidents of MOCA’s board of directors.
  • MOCA’s annual golf event was renamed the Molly Cade Memorial Golf Tournament and Gala in honor of Molly Cade. The fifth annual tournament was moved from Stillwater to Brackett’s Crossing Country Club in Lakeville and raised $100,000 for ovarian cancer.
  • Teal “OVERCOME” wristbands were introduced; by year’s end, MOCA sold more than 15,000 of the wristbands to raise awareness of ovarian cancer.

2004

  • MOCA awarded $275,000 for ovarian cancer research at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.
  • The first Calling All Angels gala was held at the Calhoun Beach Club and raised $25,000 for MOCA.
  • MOCA added two staff members, bringing the total paid staff to three, and moved into its third home, in St. Louis Park.

2003

  • MOCA awarded more than $218,000 to fund ovarian cancer research at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.
  • MOCA launched the Survivors Training Medical Students program at the University of Minnesota for third- and fourth-year medical students during their OB/GYN rotation.
  • The Northern Lights League chose MOCA as the beneficiary of their holiday poinsettia sale and donated $15,000 to the organization.
  • On December 3, 2003, MOCA’s co-founder and first president, Molly Cade, passed away, just a few months after being named to the “Twin Cities Volunteer Hall of Fame” by Mpls/St.Paul Magazine for her vision and inspiration in leading MOCA.

2002

  • MOCA awarded more than $130,000 for four ovarian cancer research grant proposals, two from the University of Minnesota and two from Mayo Clinic.
  • MOCA outgrew its first home at Molly Cade’s house and moved into the law offices of Eastlund, Solstad, Cade & Hutchinson, Ltd., where Molly’s husband, Joe Cade, was a partner.
  • The Young Survivor Network was launched by two MOCA members, Sarah Mahanna and Jill Rosenberg, who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer while still in their 20s.
  • In February, MOCA hired its first paid staff person, Kathleen Gavin, as program director. In October, Kathleen was promoted to executive director.
  • On March 4, 2002, MOCA’s vice president and co-founder, Kris Warn, passed away.
  • More than 20 MOCA members participated in Grand Rounds, pairing up with gynecologic oncologists or nurse practitioners to provide ovarian cancer training to 50 doctors at hospitals across the state.
  • On September 29 the first annual “A Toast to Life” event was held in honor of MOCA board member Merle Rosenberg and her daughter Jill, both ovarian cancer survivors. The event, hosted by family members and friends, raised $50,000 for MOCA’s ovarian cancer research program.

2001

  • MOCA awarded its first two grants for ovarian cancer research at the University of Minnesota, using $91,000 from the first Walk/Run.
  • On May 15, 2001, MOCA held its first annual meeting at Richfield Lutheran Church.
  • The First Annual Golf Shoot-Out Benefit was held in honor of Susan Kushner, a founding board member, thanks to her and her husband Barry’s friendship with Michael Patterson of King Companies. More than $20,000 was raised at this event, which was held at Oak Glen Country Club in Stillwater.
  • MOCA received a $13,000 grant from the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) and GlaxoSmithKline’s Global Community Partnerships program to initiate a “Grand Rounds” project to help educate primary care physicians about ovarian cancer.

2000

  • MOCA formed a medical advisory board consisting of numerous gynecologic oncologists in the state.
  • MOCA became a working partner with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA), and MOCA members attended the third annual OCNA conference in Washington, D.C.
  • MOCA developed a partnership with the Women’s Cancer Resource Center and was recognized by the American Cancer Society.
  • MOCA members met with Minnesota’s congressional delegation to lobby for patient bill of rights, additional funds for Department of Defense research, and hearings regarding genetic discrimination.
  • MOCA launched its website.
  • On September 16, 2000, MOCA held the first annual Silent No More Walk/Run for Ovarian Cancer. The event took place at Rosland Park in Edina. The inaugural event raised $108,000 for research and programs associated with MOCA.

1999

  • A small group of ovarian cancer survivors, including Molly Cade, Kris Warn, Susan Kushner, Betty Noble, Joan Weinstein and Pat Rietz, gathered for dinner and talk about the lack of awareness regarding ovarian cancer and the need for support.
  • Soon after, MOCA was launched, with Molly Cade serving as the first president and Kris Warn the first vice president. Other members of the first board included Barb Bayerle, Susan Kushner, Sue Lorentz, Sue McIntyre, Bette Noble, and Joan Weinstein.
  • On November 16, 1999, MOCA held its first official meeting at Richfield Lutheran Church in the Minneapolis suburb of Richfield. Thirty women attended the meeting.