As MOCA celebrates our 20th anniversary this year, we are profiling a MOCA supporter each month. Some will have long-standing ties with our organization, and some will have connected with us more recently. They’ll all share a common thread of caring deeply about MOCA’s mission.

Our May profile is focused on a long-time MOCA supporter and one of the founding members of the Men of MOCA: John Devereaux. John shares what MOCA means to him in our latest profile.

Tell us how you first become connected with MOCA.

My late wife, Laura Cady Devereaux, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2002. We became connected with MOCA shortly thereafter.

When Laura was diagnosed, we were terrified.  I think it’s a natural reaction to the “Big C”.

But MOCA paired us with a survivor and she told us what to expect from chemo, that you should rent movies to bring while you’re getting chemo, good places to get wigs — basically a whole bunch of “insider intel” that made cancer seem a lot less scary.

We suddenly felt like we weren’t so all alone anymore.  It gave us HOPE. The biggest reason I continue to work with MOCA is I want that hope to be there for others.

How have you have been involved with MOCA?

We’ve always attended the events, HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer, Galas and of course – the Molly Cade Scramble for Ovarian Cancer tournament. (Editor’s Note: John and his 93-year-old father won the Molly Cade Scramble last year!)

A couple of years ago my wife Kitty and I participated in a Dancing with the Stars-type event to raise money for MOCA.  We have also served on the Spin It Teal committee.

A few years ago, I was asked to help start the Men of MOCA, a group to provide support to caregivers. Our goal is to provide connection, hope and camaraderie to other men going through the same thing. I plan the Bikes and Brews event for MOCA every year and it’s a great way to connect with others. Join us on Sunday, June 9!

What is your hope for the next 20 years of MOCA?  

A test, then a treatment that holds it at bay until finally a cure…

MOCA is a wonderful organization – we are blessed to have it in Minnesota (most states do not have anything like it for ovarian cancer).

I think it would be wonderful if one of the researchers that MOCA funded was instrumental in finding a test, a treatment or that breakthrough cure.  Now wouldn’t that be something?

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June Miller