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.

Find more information about MOCA milestones, events and activities at the MOCA News tab.

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 in 2012. 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, Minn. in May 2011.
  • The Mid Summer Night’s Gala and Molly Cade Memorial Golf Tournament experienced their highest turnouts yet!
  • On Sunday August 14th Colleen Evans MD, second year fellow in GYN-ONC at the University of Minnesota, ran the YWCA Triathlon around Lake Nokomis sporting a MOCA jersey.

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-Last year, more than 500 people participated in the Golf Tournament & Gala and 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” which 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.
  • Ross Williams, son of ovarian cancer survivor and MOCA member, Carmen Williams, and his father Dave designed a Tri athlete sport tank with “Racing for a Cure,” the MOCA logo and teal ribbons swimming, biking and running.
  • 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 awards more than $286,000 for ovarian cancer research at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.
  • MOCA celebrates 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 is held at Minnewaska Golf Course in Glenwood, Minn. More than $8,000 is raised at the event, which is 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 awards $375,000 for ovarian cancer research at Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota.
  • During September 2008, MOCA launches OvaryAct!, a public awareness campaign. The campaign highlights ovarian cancer symptoms and is 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 declares Sept. 13 “Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day.”
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar attends the Walk/Run, along with KARE-11 anchor Julie Nelson as emcee and more than 2,900 participants. The event raises more than $230,000 to support MOCA’s mission.

2007

  • MOCA awards 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 is expanded into a series of Calling All Angels parties throughout Minnesota, with the aim of celebrating with friends and neighbors while spreading awareness of ovarian cancer. More than a dozen parties are held with a total of 500 attendees, and $14,000 is raised.
  • The Shelly Ross Memorial Meeting Room and Library is dedicated at MOCA’s headquarters in Minneapolis.
  • The first annual meeting of the MOCA Medical Advisory Committee takes place at Brackett’s Crossing Country Club in Lakeville, in conjunction the Seventh Annual Molly Cade Memorial Tournament and Gala, which attracts 400 participants and raises more than $100,000 to support MOCA’s mission.

2006

  • MOCA awards more than $316,000 for ovarian cancer research at Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota. MOCA hires Kathy McGovern as medical education program manager to expand the Grand Rounds program and oversee the Survivors Training Medical Students program and other aspects of medical education outreach. During the course of the year, Grand Rounds presentations are made to 535 health care professionals.
  • MOCA launches a Southeastern Minnesota chapter in an effort to better serve members. The first fundraising event is 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 passes away.
    MOCA announces the first two recipients of the Anita Lubov Memorial Oncology Scholarship Fund.
  • During November 2006, MOCA purchases its current home, an office building in south Minneapolis, with generous financial support from the Shelly Ross Memorial Fund.

2005

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

2004

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

2003

  • MOCA awards more than $218,000 to fund ovarian cancer research at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.
  • MOCA launches 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 chooses MOCA as the beneficiary of their holiday poinsettia sale and donates $15,000 to the organization.
  • On December 3, 2003, MOCA’s co-founder and first president, Molly Cade, passes 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 for leading MOCA.

2002

  • MOCA awards more than $130,000 for four ovarian cancer research grant proposals, two from the University of Minnesota and two from Mayo Clinic.
  • MOCA outgrows its first home at Molly Cade’s house and moves into the law offices of Eastlund, Solstad, Cade & Hutchinson, Ltd., where Molly’s husband, Joe Cade, is a partner.
  • The Young Survivor Network is launched by two MOCA members, Sarah Mahanna and Jill Rosenberg, who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer while still in their 20s.
  • In February, MOCA hires its first paid staff person, Kathleen Gavin, as program director. In October, Kathleen is promoted to executive director.
  • On March 4, 2002, MOCA’s vice president and co-founder, Kris Warn, passes away.
    More than 20 MOCA members participate 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 is 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, raises $50,000 for MOCA’s ovarian cancer research program.

2001

  • MOCA awards 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 holds its first annual meeting at Richfield Lutheran Church.
  • The First Annual Golf Shoot-Out Benefit is 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 is raised at this event, which is held at Oak Glen Country Club in Stillwater.
  • MOCA receives 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 forms a medical advisory board consisting of numerous gynecologic oncologists in the state.
  • MOCA becomes a working partner with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA), and MOCA members attend the third annual OCNA conference in Washington, D.C.
  • MOCA develops a partnership with the Women’s Cancer Resource Center and is recognized by the American Cancer Society.
  • MOCA members meet 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 launches its website.
  • On September 16, 2000, MOCA holds the first annual Silent No More Walk/Run for Ovarian Cancer. The event takes place at Rosland Park in Edina. The inaugural event raises $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, gather for dinner and talk about the lack of awareness regarding ovarian cancer and the need for support.
  • Soon after, MOCA is launched, with Molly Cade serving as the first president and Kris Warn the first vice president. Other members of the first board include Barb Bayerle, Susan Kushner, Sue Lorentz, Sue McIntyre, Bette Noble, and Joan Weinstein.
  • On November 16, 1999, MOCA holds its first official meeting at Richfield Lutheran Church in the Minneapolis suburb of Richfield. Thirty women attend the meeting.

 

Survivor Stories

I want to encourage other survivors to find inner tools that can create new possibilities for themselves despite the disease.

Ovarian cancer survivors share their stories, because no one should have to face this disease alone.
Read their stories here »