What began as a simple idea to
reach out to raise awareness, the Ovarian Cancer Orange County
Alliance (OCOCA) has had extraordinary successes since it’s
beginnings in 2003. With a small core group of 8 women, OCOCA
participated in 29 community events in and around Orange County,
California. As September is designated as Ovarian Cancer
Awareness Month, OCOCA was busy distributing ‘ comfort gifts’ to
144 women in treatment. Educational materials were distributed
to over 3,450 people, just in September and a total outreach
providing information to 7,800 community members.
In 2004, OCOCA more than doubled
their efforts to raise awareness by providing free information
to groups and organizations at 43 community events. Again,
during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, OCOCA reached out to
8,000 people by placing baskets of symptom cards throughout the
county and providing 300 ‘comfort gifts’ to women in treatment.
Between community events and women in treatment, we touched more
than 18,500 people. A Speakers Bureau using a PowerPoint
presentation was created and made available free of charge to
organizations and groups seeking educational information.
Additionally, in 2004 OCOCA
launched a Medical School Program at UCI supported by the
Speakers Bureau. This unique program is part of the third year
medical school's curriculum. The students have an opportunity to
dialogue with survivors, women in treatment and caregivers to
provide a personal viewpoint. This program has received
nationwide recognition and continues to be offered at other
universities, as well.
2005 has been another year of
progress for us at OCOCA. After many hours of planning and
designing, our web site was launched on September 1st. We also
started a Media/PR committee, which has enabled us to publish
articles highlighting our efforts and events in various
Newspapers and Magazines. We participated in over 45 community
events throughout the year, always reaching out to educate and
raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer. In September, Ovarian Cancer
Awareness Month, we once again distributed comfort bags to women
in treatment and placed 110 baskets of symptom cards all
throughout the county, reaching over 30,000 with our efforts.
Our Speakers Bureau has continued with the “Survivors teaching
Students, Saving Women’s Lives” program at UCI, and has expanded
into the community with various other speaking engagements. To
support all of our efforts and accomplishments, OCOCA hosted
three very successful fundraisers.
Time flew by in 2006 as we
continued our established education and awareness programs. Once
again, we increased the number of people reached during
September’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month to a record 50,000,
in addition to the readership of the Orange County Register with
our newspaper coverage. Our outreach also included providing
ovarian cancer information to the Orange County Libraries, as
well as supplying 300 “Comfort Bags” to women in treatment. Our
“Season of Excitement” Luncheon and Fashion Show proved to be
our most successful Fundraiser yet.
We expect continued growth and
expansion for the Alliance in 2007. With the recent training of
new volunteers, two large fundraisers scheduled and dozens of
community events planned, OCOCA will continue to increase
awareness of ovarian cancer throughout Orange County.
From very humble beginnings,
Ovarian Cancer Orange County Alliance has worked tirelessly to
raise a voice to bring awareness about ovarian cancer. OCOCA is there
How You Can Help
Alliance, All Rights Reserved.
Merle Tabor Stern
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