In less than a month, nearly 200 people will be hopping on spin bikes for MOCA’s 2nd Annual Spin it Teal event. Wondering what Spin it Teal is all about? Ovarian cancer survivor and MOCA Board Member Marcia Trevarthen tells us how Spin it Teal motivated her last year!

Last November I participated in MOCA’s first Spin it Teal event.  I went with my daughter and we had a blast!  I have been to a couple of spinning classes before so I knew what to expect.  That is until, I went to the Spin it Teal class!  My previous spinning classes were very small and had only 8 – 10 bikes.  The room at The Firm had over 75 bikes!  You could just feel the buzz and excitement in the air as everyone was getting settled in.  All the participants were fired up to Spin it Teal in support of MOCA and raise money for ovarian cancer awareness, support, education and research.

The best part about the class though was the instructor.  Never have I seen an instructor enjoy teaching a class as much as he did.  The music was playing, we were spinning and he was almost dancing on his bike!  It was so much fun to watch!  You can participate in the event regardless of your fitness level because you have total control of your own bike and can regulate the amount of resistance and how fast you want to spin.

MOCA has many wonderful events to get involved in and help spread the word about ovarian cancer and raise money for the cause.  I hope to participate again this year and maybe I too will be dancing on my bike!

Spin it Teal with us! And the best part – because of a generous donor – your $30 fee and any donations will be matched! Pick from two classes at The Firm in Minneapolis: 10:00 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. Register NOW to join us for one or both classes – includes shirts, door prizes, snacks and more!

 

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Each month, MOCA strives to share an open research trial or study that may be relevant to our MOCA survivors and supporters. This month, we’re sharing information provided by the University of Minnesota, regarding a research study to develop a cell phone application educating patients about cancer genetic counseling.

Drs. Melissa Geller and Hee Yun Lee at the University of Minnesota were recently awarded a grant from the National Department of Defense on the topic of ovarian cancer risk reduction via genetic counseling. This research directly addresses the need of the ovarian cancer community to reach women who are at an increased risk for carrying a hereditary gene mutation.

It is estimated that up to 20% of women with ovarian cancer carry hereditary mutations increasing the risk of cancer. Identification of a high-risk hereditary cancer gene enables physicians to provide medical care that may reduce the risk of future cancer and increase the life expectancy for high-risk individuals and their family members. According to recent research, the central problem for women with ovarian cancer is, despite these benefits, physicians continue to under-refer and women under-use genetic counseling services.

This project will use mobile phone technology (an “app”) as a means to take preventive health care to a new level among ovarian cancer survivors. This study proposes to develop the Mobile Application for Genetic Information on Cancer (mAGIC) intervention to motivate ovarian cancer survivors to undergo genetic counseling.  The overall study objective is to develop and test the effectiveness of a week-long mobile phone based mAGIC intervention aimed to persuade ovarian cancer survivors to receive genetic counseling, with the long-term goal of expanding this intervention to family members and other cancers.

This study is currently recruiting ovarian, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancer survivors to serve as advisors in the development of this cell phone technology. A series of three focus groups with ovarian cancer survivors of varying ages will be conducted to inform system design.  These will include two groups of women who have not previously had genetic counseling and one group who has had genetic counseling.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota are looking for three groups of ovarian cancer survivors to share their opinions for an hour and a half on the mAGIC intervention. As a “thank you” for helping, each participant will receive $50. They are looking for women who fall into one of these three groups:

1.Survivors who have been referred to but never seen a genetic counselor: Monday, 10/13, 1-3 PM

2.Survivors who have never been referred to or seen a genetic counselor: Thurs., 10/9, 3-5 PM

3.Survivors who have never been referred to and have seen a genetic counselor: Mon., 10/6, 10 AM to noon

The groups will average 90 minutes in length and will be comprised of 5-8 women. Topics will include: (1) current knowledge of hereditary cancer risk and genetic counseling, (2) barriers to genetic counseling, (3) current mobile phone and text/picture message habits, and (4) the content, type, and frequency of messages that might prove helpful for promoting genetic counseling. Participants will receive $50 for their participation and parking and refreshments will be provided.

To sign up, please call Matt Gerber at 612-624-9486 or email mhgerber@umn.edu, and let him know which group you are in. The deadline to register is Tuesday, 9/23 on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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An ovarian cancer diagnosis can bring with it many emotions. And while these emotions start at diagnosis – they can last long after surgery and treatment is completed.

That’s why our next MOCA Living Well meeting will explore the emotional impact of an ovarian cancer diagnosis. We’ve invited Brenda Hartman, a licensed social worker and a 26-year ovarian cancer survivor, to join us for a special meeting that addresses how to cope with the emotional challenges of cancer.

We’ll explore and discuss a range of emotions, including fear or recurrence, anger and sadness.

Family members and friends are invited to attend, as well. Brenda will talk about coping mechanisms for women to help lighten the emotional burden of a cancer diagnosis. Brenda plans this to be an interactive conversation where participants can ask questions and interact with others.

This meeting will take place on Thursday, Oct. 2 at Southdale Library from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided. Click here to register for this meeting.

Merged Teal strides

Can I bring my dog? Where do I park? Find answers to your Teal Strides questions here! Don’t forget – online registration ends at midnight Thursday evening, however, same-day registration is available at the event! 

HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer is this Saturday, Sept. 6 – and what a day it will be! The forecast looks to be perfect – sunny and low 70’s. Before you lace up your walking or running shoes (in teal, of course!) we’d like to share some reminders and other information about Teal Strides.

Timing: As we’ve said in years past, we encourage participants to get to Rosland Park early, so you can allow extra time to park and walk, pick up your registration packet and t-shirt if you didn’t opt for early packet pick-up, etc. We suggest arriving between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. The Survivor Photo will be taken at 8:30 a.m. and we hope all survivors can join in! The program begins at 8:45. Find a full timeline of events here.

Parking: We’ve got ample parking in the northwest corner of Southdale Mall! And a shuttle that starts at 7 a.m. to bring you to the park if you’d like. There is limited handicapped parking and a Survivor Drop-off area available at the main Rosland Parking Lot on a first come, first served basis.

And, as always, carpooling is highly recommended! Please allow additional time to walk to the park or ride the shuttle bus.

MOCA Store: We will have our MOCA Store on site, selling t-shirts, teal jewelry, hats, and of course, our Tie it Teal laces. We’re even debuting some new Teal Strides items at the event! Be sure to bring cash, check or credit card if you’d like to purchase something.

Fundraising: Don’t forget to turn in donations when you pick-up your t-shirt. And you can keep fundraising for MOCA all month – September 30th is the deadline to turn in donations to qualify for incentives.

Registration: Online registration runs through Thursday at midnight. After that, same-day registration at the event will start at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Bring a friend or family member – we look forward to seeing you there!

Can I bring my dog? Well-behaved dogs are always welcome at Teal Strides!

Any other questions? Call the MOCA office at (612) 822-0500. See you this Saturday!

 

Seed art ML 8.21.15

Sara Langworthy is an ovarian cancer survivor who spreads awareness and inspiration in a creative way. You may have spotted her at our past Walk/Runs, dressed up in her teal “She-Ra” costume. Her superpower is fighting ovarian cancer, of course! At the event, she poses for photos and chats with other survivors – and generally just puts a smile on people’s faces.

Sara recently took to the Minnesota State Fair to spread ovarian cancer awareness last week. She and her friends recreated her “She-Ra” pose in seed art for the State Fair, winning a solid 6th place out of 15 in the novice category. At the Fair, Sara and a group of friends handed out symptom cards and Teal Strides postcards and talked to Fair-goers about ovarian cancer. Sara made ovarian cancer awareness fun – not an easy feat! A sampling of photos from Sara’s day of awareness at the Fair is below.

We are grateful to Sara for making a difference. Join Sara and so many other survivors – and those who are running and walking to honor them – at HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer on Saturday, Sept. 6.

In Sara’s words:

“I attended my first MOCA walk/run with my husband and kids in 2011, having just completed chemo a month before. I hadn’t connected with any other survivors, and I didn’t really know what I was doing there or what to expect. And I spent the whole time there suppressing tears: of grief, of relief and of surprise at how powerful it was to be in such a large group of survivors.

The following year, in remission, I had a plan to raise money, form a bigger team and to use my skills as a costumer to take a more powerful stance to support the fight against cancer and support my survivorship. And laugh as much as possible.  

Last year I again had recently completed chemo, and She-Ra was kind of my first step back into the world of NED – “No Evidence of Disease.” We raised more money, and I made teal capes for all my team members.

Now, She-Ra has a life of her own, and I’ll say that though I am suffering from a lot of fatigue with my current chemo, putting on the costume the other day really did make me more powerful.  And connecting with strangers at the Fair and giving them symptom cards gave me a real sense of hopefulness.” 

 

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