MOCA Mentors: Recognizing an Essential Support Program

MOCA Mentors: Recognizing an Essential Support Program

4.26.12 The Mentor program has been a core service provided by MOCA since our inception in 1999. MOCA Mentors started small, with co-founders Molly Cade and Kris Warn who simply kept a list of women interested in connecting with other ovarian cancer survivors. In those early years, Molly and Kris would make the calls themselves.

What started small has now grown into one of MOCA’s key support programs. Currently, there are 25 survivors on the MOCA Mentor list, along with spouses, partners and daughters. MOCA receives dozens of Mentee requests each year.

When a woman reaches out to MOCA with a request to talk to someone, we aim to connect her with a Mentor within three days or less. We try to connect women with similar concerns, at similar lifestages, tumor type or treatment plans. For many women, this is the first time connecting with another woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer. So many have reported back to say that they were grateful to be able to talk with someone who has been through what they are going through.

In an effort to provide support to currently serving MOCA Mentors and to improve the program, in late February we invited 24-year ovarian cancer survivor and licensed clinical social worker Brenda Hartman to speak with the MOCA Mentors. The workshop was designed to facilitate conversation between Mentors and Mentees, and provide the Mentors with insight on active listening, providing resources to women and more. Brenda spent a morning talking with Mentors about their work with the program – and Mentors told us that they left the workshop energized!

If you live in Minnesota or surrounding areas and are in need of a MOCA Mentor or if you would like to become a Mentor, please contact Becky Lechner at or call the MOCA office at (612) 822-0500.