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Survivor Stories

As shocking as it can be to receive a diagnosis of gynecologic cancer, we want you to know that No One Fights Alone. We hope these personal stories of diagnosis, treatment and survival from women who have persevered and triumphed over these diseases provide comfort and support for your journey.  

If you would like to share your story, please send it to ogccmail@gmail.com

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Resource Guide

OGCC/Rhonda’s Club has compiled a resource guide for newly diagnosed ovarian and endometrial cancer patients with practical information on what to expect during treatment, frequently asked questions, a glossary of medical terms and other useful facts. This guide is included in our patient care bags distributed free of charge to patients.

rhonda oziel

Rhonda’s Story

When she learned in 1994 that she had ovarian cancer, Ms. Rhonda Oziel was confronted with a lack of readily available information on the disease and its treatment.

She became a founder of the Ovarian & Gynecologic Cancer Coalition of Greater Washington, which was later renamed OGCC/Rhonda’s Club in her honor.

OGCC/Rhonda’s Club Announces Grants for Gynecology Oncology Nurses

OGCC/Rhonda’s Club is pleased to announce a new initiative to offer grants to nurses working with gynecologic cancer patients. These grants of up to $750 can be used to attend professional conferences, certification training or classes in the gynecologic cancer specialty.  Our goal is to advance nurses’ skills in patient care and treatments to help relieve some of the professional challenges nurses face and assist the quality care they provide patients. 

Nurses who are currently caring for gynecologic patients in a hospital, clinic or private practice in the DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia area are eligible to apply. Applications will be evaluated on a rotating basis within 30 business days of submission.  Applications can be accessed at:



Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance Statement on Shortage of Chemotherapy Drugs

Cancer centers throught the U.S. are currently experiencing a shortage of carboplatin and cisplatin, two primary drugs used to treat ovarian cancer, that will likely last several months and possibly longer.  To learn more, read the following statement from our national organization, the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA):


Our Patient Support Line is Open...

If you're an ovarian cancer patient and are feeling overwhelmed by these challenging times and unsure of what it means for you, remember that help is just a phone call away. Our national organization, the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA), has an oncology social worker available to chat Monday through Friday. Call 212-268-1002 and ask for Tracy.  If she misses your call she'll get back to you within 24 hours.


New Services for Uterine Cancer and Cervical Cancer Patients

SHARE Cancer Support has set up a hotline to answer your Uterine Cancer questions.  Whether you have a uterine sarcoma or endometrial cancer diagnosis or you're a friend, family member or caregiver of someone who does, Call 844-582-6005.

SHARE also set up two Cervical Cancer hotlines, one for phone calls at 332-600-1057 and another for texting at 612-444-7325 (from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday) as well as an email link at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  However you prefer to communicate, you can ask questions and get information about treatments and speak with a survivor or caregiver familiar with the disease.

SHARE has added a Clinical Trial Matching Service offering patients a free, confidential, personalized Clinical Trial referral service.  You can access this service at:  https://www.sharecancersupport.org/breast-cancer/clinical-trial-matching-service/


Upcoming and Recent Events

Ovarian Cancer National Conference

OCRA's Ovarian Cancer National Conference will be held virtually on November 1 - 3, 2023. The largest conference for ovarian cancer patients, survivors and supporters returns this fall, and we can't wait to share all the latest updates with you.  Register ($75) beginning on September 1st.​ Keeping up with the latest scientific discoveries can be overwhelming — but there is hope on the horizon…


Update on Gynecologic Cancer Research

The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) held its Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in March 2023.  Highlights of the latest research findings on gynecologic cancers are summarized by Annie Ellis, member of the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance’s Scientific Advisory Committee at this link:



Highlights from OCRA National Conference 2022

Our national organization, the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance marked gynecologic cancer month in September with a virtual conference that brought together hundreds of patients, survivors, and supporters from 46 states and across the globe.   The multi-day conference featured:

  • More than 20 experts presenting the newest information in ovarian cancer research and care: where research is headed, symptom management, how ovarian cancer is connected to other gynecologic cancers
  • Ask the Experts panel responding to questions with the latest updates around genetic testing, treatments, and survivorship.
  • Attendees participating in interactive breakout sessions covering issues like rare ovarian cancer care and managing recurrence.

Watch video presentations from the September 2022 event at:



Get Involved
Research Opportunity: Join the Living Well Study

The Living Well Study is a multi-site, National Cancer Institute-funded, lifestyle-oriented clinical trial for ovarian cancer survivors. Study participants are randomized to either an 11-week stress management/mindfulness group or an 11-week lifestyle class (with focus on exercise, nutrition, sleep, etc. for cancer patients) with a goal of increasing quality of life and coping skills. All meetings are virtual, conducted by zoom, are in small groups of 5-8 survivors from all over the country, and are facilitated by a psychologist or health educator.

Eligible participants have completed initial treatment for ovarian, fallopian tube, primary peritoneal, and cancers of mullerian origin, and are not currently being treated for a recurrence. Maintenance treatments such as PARP inhibitors, Letrozole, and Avastin are not an exclusion. Participants are eligible up to five years out from the completion of their initial treatment and have had no more than one recurrence.

The study provides tablets to anyone without technology access, including tablets with 4G connection for those without WiFi. We also provide tech training to assist participants who are not familiar with Zoom or not proficient with technology in general.

Recruitment is nationwide with participants coming from Alaska to the Caribbean. A brochure and social media graphics are attached for your reference and use—we have printed brochures available upon request.

You can learn more about the study at our website https://livingwellstudy.org or by contacting us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information, questions, or to request brochures for an event, you can contact Alyssa Noble, the study coordinator at (563) 260-4417 or Sharaf Zia, the project manager, at (800) 551-5601 or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


In the News

Rhonda's Club Volunteer Interviewed on Local News
Congratulations to Annamarie DeCarlo, long-time gynecologic cancer survivor and Survivors Teaching Students volunteer who spread the word on ovarian cancer awareness in an interview aired on Fox 5 local news.  Hear what she had to say at this link:



Uterine Cancer Increasing in U.S. with Black Women Facing Highest Mortality Rates
The New York Ti
mes reported on troubling trends in uterine cancer.  Read the update here:



Doctor-Patient Communication
 JoAnn Symons, president of Rhonda’s Club and an ovarian cancer survivor, was interviewed for WTOP News on doctor-patient communication at:






Rhonda’s Club is empowered through contributions of time, energy and dollars to support survivors of gynecologic cancers in direct and practical ways, engage in outreach to our community, raise awareness of these diseases, and promote medical research to find better treatments and cures. We have assessed both the measurable and intangible outcomes of our programs in the areas of Medical Education, Assistance to Survivors, Public Awareness and Outreach, and Research in 2020 and present them here for your review. Please read more about our activities here.

We are grateful for your moral and financial support.  Every year, we lose too many good women to gynecologic cancers.  Please help us turn the tide against these devastating diseases.

Thank you,

JoAnn Symons, chair
Clare Donelan, Treasurer
Pat Goldman, founding member
Susan Kim
Mary Kinler
Erika Lunder
Christy Schmidt
Patricia Seggerman
Joan Stieber
Paige Whitaker
Susan Yaffe-Oziel


Thank you to our supporters!

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