HERA Newsletter Fall Issue 2014

BIG NEWS:  HERA Stands Up to Cancer!

In This Issue:

Be Out Loud.  Be an Advocate.  Spread the Word.

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.  Shout it from the rooftops!  Tell everyone you know.  Raising awareness is key to saving lives. HERA is committed to informing women, the people who love them, and the doctors who treat them about the symptoms of the disease and what they can do if they suspect ovarian cancer.


There is no reliable early screening method for ovarian cancer. Pap smears test only for cervical cancer.  The symptoms of ovarian cancer are vague and often overlooked, leading to later detection: 


  • Abdominal swelling or bloating, increased girth 

  • Persistent pressure or pain in the abdomen or pelvis

  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly

  • Urinary concerns, such as urgency or frequency 


Any woman may have these symptoms for reasons not related to ovarian cancer.  However, if these symptoms are new and unusual, and persist for more than two weeks, a woman should see her doctor, preferably a gynecologist, and ask about ovarian cancer.  An ultrasound and CA125 blood test may be necessary.  If ovarian cancer is suspected, see a gynecologic oncologist immediately.


Learn the symptoms and share them with the women in your life.  Together we can save lives.  Here's how to take action now! 

Ovarian cancer affects women of all ages and it impacts their families.  We're fighting this disease, but we can't do it alone.  Help HERA stand up to cancer!  Remember: no donation is too small and every dollar counts to support scientific research & community awareness.  Why do your donations matter?  Learn what the experts have to say...

There are lots of HERA events to choose from.  Get involved or donate to support your favorite climber or runner: 


Climb4Life CA - Sept. 12-13

All of these events raise funds for HERA to help stop the loss of women from ovarian cancer.  Turn your passion into action today!
Shop Your Heart Out

HERA is proud to be a featured charity on iMyne, a company that enables you, our awesome HERA community, to shop your heart out at the sites you love while raising money for our cause.  Sites like Target, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Home Depot, Macy's and Gap are among the 100s of retailers that participate.


In support of September Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, iMyne will donate $1 for every new member HERA signs up at iMyne up to $5,000!  Just click on the link below and shop your heart out for HERA:




Tell your friends and get them shopping through iMyne, too.  Grow your iMyne network and increase your impact. It's so easy!


Look for a Facebook event and reminders to sign-up and shop all month.  Watch for more updates on how you can make a difference. 

Roll Up Your Sleeves
HERA is looking for new board members to help our cause.  HERA is a national organization made up of volunteer board members all across the country.  If you are energetic, passionate, and committed to our mission, email us your resume and tell us why you want to get involved We're a working board, and we're growing, so be prepared to roll up your sleeves!

National Partnership Forms Dream Team to Tackle Deadliest Gynecologic Cancer

A groundbreaking collaboration is underway among many of the nation's ovarian cancer organizations. In partnership with Stand Up To Cancer, a new Ovarian Cancer Dream Team will kick off this year, dedicated to piloting leading-edge, ovarian cancer research that will help patients and save lives. The Dream Team effort is led by the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, and the HERA Women's Cancer Foundation, with contributions from other organizations throughout the United States.


This partnership was announced on Stand Up To Cancer's bi-annual telecast on Friday, September 5. The Stand Up To Cancer-Ovarian Cancer Research Fund-Ovarian Cancer National Alliance-National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Translational Research Dream Team grant will provide funding, over a three-year period, for research associated with this insidious disease.


"We are thrilled to see so many ovarian cancer organizations coming together with a common goal," said Calaneet Balas, CEO of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. "We are so grateful that organizations like HERA share our vision and our hope of discovering more effective treatments. I believe the Ovarian Cancer Dream Team will be paradigm-shifting for our community, and I cannot wait to see what comes from this new initiative."


Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all the gynecologic cancers and this partnership demonstrates HERA's commitment to scientific research. "Joining forces to fund the science of SU2C's Dream Team will further HERA's Mission to stop ovarian cancer.  By joining forces we can fund big science in novel ways that will help women who have the disease today stay alive," said Samantha Lockwood, HERA Board President. "I'm proud that HERA is part of an advocate community with the common goal to stop the suffering this horrid disease has on everyone it touches." Almost 22,000 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014, and more than 14,000 women will lose their lives to the disease. By collaborating to fund an Ovarian Cancer Dream Team, the participating organizations such as HERA will further research in the field that can lead to new treatments that benefit patients.


The timeline for the creation of the Ovarian Cancer Dream Team will begin later this month, with the solicitation of ideas from researchers and scientists worldwide. The announcement of those selected to join the Dream Team will be next spring, with research beginning in July 2015.


This innovative partnership supporting Stand Up to Cancer exemplifies HERA's deep, continuing commitment to scientific research to stop the loss of women from ovarian cancer by promoting Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness. 

Collaborative Research Recognized at MD Anderson

HERA proudly awards the 2014 Sean Patrick Multidisciplinary Collaborative Grant to Dr. Anil Sood and Dr. Pratip Bhattacharya at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.  The purpose of the Sean Patrick Grant is to fund projects that are focused on the cause, early detection, treatment, and/or understanding of ovarian cancer. This annual award supports scientists with different, yet complementary, skills who are working on cross-disciplinary projects that are collaborative and synergistic in nature.


The team at MD Anderson was selected for their project that will look at the metabolic changes in ovarian cancer tissue.  Metabolism is fundamental to cell survival and proliferation, and metabolic alterations frequently occur in cancer. This project seeks to address the knowledge gap pertaining to metabolic changes in ovarian cancers that regulate response or resistance to treatment, permitting the identification of predictive biomarkers, and impacting patient outcome in the long term. Drs. Sood and Bhattacharya will be employing this novel insight to address the knowledge gap in ovarian cancer by a multi-disciplinary two prong strategy: 1) ex vivo high resolution metabolic fingerprinting of patient tissue samples from ongoing clinical trials at MD Anderson Cancer Center, and 2) novel technique of non-invasive in vivo Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in ovarian cancer tissue to reveal the real-time metabolic profile of tissues. These results can later be translated to patients and provide rapid feedback for decision-making on patient selection, early detection, staging and treatment monitoring.


Anil K. Sood, MD, is a Professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine. He is a leading cancer biologist and gynecologic oncologist. Pratip Bhattacharya, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Cancer Systems Imaging, and a spin-physicist, expert in hyperpolarized metabolic and molecular imaging. This team brings synergistic expertise to a cross-disciplinary strategy that involves cancer biology, spin physics, and biomedical imaging.


HERA Founder, Sean Patrick, for whom this grant was named, was a champion for innovative ovarian cancer research. She believed that the therapies with the most potential would be formulated by combining great ideas from different labs and possibly different fields.  Grants have been awarded to collaborations at the University of Colorado, the University of Chicago/University of Texas, and the University of Minnesota.
Click here to read more about the 2014 Sean Patrick Grant Recipients.

HERA awarded its 2014 Community Grants to five organizations nationwide working to improve the quality of life for women with ovarian cancer or to raise awareness of the disease in novel and unusual ways.


Each organization received $1,000 to support the collective goal of promoting health, empowerment, research, and awareness. Congratulations to the 2014 HERA Community Grant recipients who are doing great work around the country:


  • The Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation (Birmingham, Ala.) will promote ovarian cancer awareness through their State of Teal campaign by lighting prominent buildings and landmarks in teal across Alabama.

  • The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (Irvine, Calif.) will provide Faces of Hope teal totes to newly-diagnosed ovarian cancer patients.

  • Support Connection (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) will provide an educational webinar for women with ovarian cancer as part of their "Tune In and Take Charge" awareness campaign during September for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

  • Ovar'coming Together (Indianapolis, Ind.) will provide updated educational materials to newly-diagnosed ovarian cancer patients in their HOPE packets.

  • The University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute (Knoxville, Tenn.) will provide ovarian cancer patients in the Appalachian service area with gasoline gift cards to use for transportation to treatment centers, physicians' offices and diagnostic testing sights.


HERA has awarded more than $53,000 in Community Grants and supported nearly 40 programs since 2002.  Read more about HERA's Community Grant recipients. 

HERA Women's Cancer Foundation
P.O. Box 6147
Denver, CO 80206

The HERA Women's Cancer Foundation is a 501C3 non-profit organization whose mission is to stop the loss of women from ovarian cancer by promoting Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness.

Of the funds HERA raises, at least 85% provides for programs such as scientific research grants and community grants to raise awareness about the disease.

Details:  herafoundation.org
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