In Research, Survivors

MOCA mourns the loss of our Board Vice-Chair, passionate advocate, and dear friend Teri Woodhull. Teri passed away from ovarian cancer on January 10, 2021, after a ten-year journey with the disease. MOCA’s Board of Directors, staff and supporters want to extend our deepest condolences to the entire Woodhull family.

MOCA is grateful for Teri’s dynamic leadership and lasting contributions. Teri found MOCA shortly after her ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2010. She quickly became a committed volunteer and ardent financial supporter. Teri joined the MOCA Board in 2017 and was elected Vice-Chair in 2019. She also served on MOCA’s Black, White and Teal Committee and led our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

“Our hearts are heavy over the loss of our friend and MOCA Vice-Chair, Teri Woodhull. Teri truly changed the future of ovarian cancer as a MOCA leader and national advocate for ovarian cancer research. We are forever grateful for Teri’s significant contributions and friendship,” said Kathleen Gavin, MOCA Executive Director.

Teri is remembered as a trailblazer, courageously advancing ovarian cancer research and paving the way for better medical treatments. Throughout Teri’s journey with ovarian cancer, she participated in several clinical trials which led to advancements in ovarian cancer care. Teri also represented patients as a featured speaker at a 2017 congressional briefing on cancer research in Washington D.C. and shared her experiences in several local and national publications.

Teri was a source of strength to many women in both the ovarian and hereditary cancer communities. Teri had a long history of breast cancer in her family, and she underwent a prophylactic mastectomy in 1993 to reduce her risk. Unfortunately, what Teri and her doctors didn’t realize then—the BRCA gene mutation she inherited also put her at risk for ovarian cancer. When Teri was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in 2010, she worked to raise awareness about hereditary ovarian cancer and got involved with FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered. Through the years, Teri volunteered for FORCE and served on the Board of Directors. She was elected FORCE Board President in 2019. Teri was also an active member of a group known as Chemo Chicks, to support women with ovarian cancer.

Although Teri faced many challenges during her journey with ovarian cancer, she chose to focus on the positive and live her life fully. Teri once wrote in a blog post, “I did not get to choose whether I wanted to be on this teal journey, but I can choose HOW I travel it. I refuse to live in fear of the ‘what-if’s’ and the anxiety of asking ‘what’s next’ and instead continue to choose to live each day with joy and appreciation and hope.”

Teri’s spirit and legacy lives on through the many lives she touched. MOCA is deeply appreciative of Teri’s lasting contributions to change the future of ovarian cancer and improve the lives of women everywhere.

If you would like to honor Teri’s life and legacy with a contribution to MOCA, please visit her tribute page.