BLOG: MOCA Memories: Moving research forward with MOCA

BLOG: MOCA Memories: Moving research forward with MOCA

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4.16.14 As MOCA celebrates 15 years in 2014, we’ve been asking our supporters – what’s your favorite MOCA Memory? This month, MOCA consumer grant reviewer Judy Reisman (pictured on left) shares her experience in being involved in MOCA’s research process for several years.

I have been honored to be a MOCA grant reviewer for several years.  As a consumer reviewer for MOCA, I am not a gynecologic-oncologist, pathologist or biochemist.  But with my advanced degree in research and my experience teaching research methods at the University of Minnesota, I do understand what constitutes a well-designed study that has the best interest of MOCA members at its core.

At the start of each year, I await the group of new research proposals to see what our Minnesota ovarian cancer researchers are up to.  And each year I eagerly await the email that tells us reviewers how much money MOCA has raised to award to these researchers.  I think I have earned a reputation among the consumer reviewers for being picky about how each dollar is spent, knowing that those dollars were raised step by step at large annual events like HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer, the Mid Summer Night’s Gala and Molly Cade Scramble for Ovarian Cancer – and even the smallest Calling All Angels party or other fundraiser held by a person who is passionate about making a difference for women impacted by ovarian cancer.   I’m just as passionate in my belief that we must be good stewards of these precious dollars.  And I think all the consumer reviewers are thrilled that our non-scientific backgrounds still enable us to select almost identical proposals for funding as our scientist reviewers do.  It is gratifying to know that we are all on the same page.

One of the most joyous events of the year for me is the MOCA Annual Meeting – a true best MOCA Memory for me. Those researchers who have been awarded this year’s dollars are required to present their proposed studies to the MOCA membership. This year MOCA will be awarding a record $500,000, which is an amazing milestone we should all celebrate. Although most of us are not fans of graphs with tiny numbers and pictures of mice with tumors, we all understand the faces of gratitude, excitement, and sometimes even tears of those researchers who can now move one step further along the path of understanding how this disease works. For it is only with their painstaking effort that we will be able to detect, treat, and someday cure ovarian cancer.

Join Judy and other MOCA supporters at the MOCA Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 15 at the Minneapolis Marriot West in St. Louis Park. RSVP for this inspirational event today!