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 February profile is focused on a survivor who has been involved with MOCA since her diagnosis in 2016. She has benefitted from MOCA’s programming and now gives back to help other women. We invite you to meet survivor, Melissa Cook (pictured in teal with her daughter).
How did you first become connected with MOCA?
After I was diagnosed with Stage 3C ovarian cancer in June 2016, I called MOCA while I was receiving treatment. I learned about their support group meetings which I attend when I’m able to. And during those first few weeks, I learned about the MOCA Dream Award program, which I applied for that fall.
How have you have been involved with MOCA?
Being the recipient of a MOCA Dream Award meant so much to me because I won it at the end of chemo. It gave me hope. And it gave me and my daughter something to look forward to and forget about cancer for a while.
I have also been to many other MOCA events – MOCA means community to me in so many ways! I attended the Crucial Catch Minnesota Vikings game in 2018 and had the chance to go on the field with other cancer survivors. I have attended MOCA’s Tie it Teal with the Twins games where I attended with other ovarian cancer survivors.
And for the past two years, I’ve had a HOM Teal Strides team to raise money and support for MOCA. This event has now become an annual tradition for me and my family.
Because of all MOCA has done for me, I knew I had to give back. I’ve become a MOCA Mentor because I want to be able to give back and support other women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
What does MOCA mean to you?
MOCA has given me hope and support. It has also given me a group of sisters who will always be there for me. We support each other and give strength to one another. These women understand what I’ve been through and I understand what they are going through. MOCA gives support to you along your cancer journey in a way that no one else can. MOCA is there for women and their families and are dedicated to funding research for early detection and hopefully one day a cure.
What is your hope for the next 20 years of MOCA?
I hope that within the next 20 years, MOCA will have funded the research that discovers an early detection test and better treatment options to reach a cure.
How do you plan on marking the 20th anniversary of MOCA in 2019?
I already have plans to be at the Black, White & Teal Gala this year – and I’ll be starting my HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer team soon!