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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.

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, 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.


Research Opportunity for Survivors with a Genetic Mutation

“Connecting Families to Overcome Ovarian Cancer” is a research study funded by the National Cancer Institute and conducted at Emory University. They are recruiting survivors and their close relatives to become “citizen scientists” and help them develop a website and print materials to expand access to genetic services for families affected by ovarian cancer.

To summarize the study...

"Today it is known that 1 in 5 women with ovarian cancer have an inherited mutation in cancer-causing genes. Early identification of mutation carriers can enable life-saving prevention options. Recent guidelines encourage all women with ovarian cancer and their close blood relatives to consider genetic counseling. Currently, we have little guidance on how to make sure that survivors and their close relatives are aware of this recommendation and able to access genetic services. “Connecting Families to Overcome Ovarian Cancer” is funded by the National Cancer Institute. The study team is seeking 30 ovarian cancer survivors and relatives to participate in an online working group for Fall, 2020. The group will discuss ways to reach out to ovarian cancer survivors and their relatives to help them consider free genetic counseling services. The information gathered will be directly applied to develop the content and format for a website that will be offered to ovarian cancer survivors and their close relatives who may carry genetic mutations."

For more information, click on this link:                                



Coping with COVID-19                              

The COVID-19 epidemic has unsettled everyone’s life, including forcing OGCC/Rhonda’s Club to postpone several events and classes planned for spring.  We intend to re-schedule when public health conditions allow.  In the meantime, we’ve compiled the following resources to guide you, especially those in treatment who may have questions about maintaining your treatment schedule, visiting hospitals and doctors’ offices, and similar concerns. 

from our national organization, OCRA…

from the Foundation for Women’s Cancer…

from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute….

If current conditions find you shopping online...
Please sign up with at SmileAmazon.com to support Rhonda’s Club at no cost to you every time you shop online at Amazon.  Just log onto Smile.Amazon.com and designate the “Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Greater Washington” (that’s us) and Amazon will donate a portion of the money you spend to Rhonda’s Club.  We greatly appreciate your support!

Upcoming Events

Johns Hopkins Medicine/The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center invites you to its
8th Annual Survivorship Conference -- Surviving & Thriving: Mind, Body & Spirit

A FREE virtual event for patients & caregivers on Thursdays in October from 12 noon – 12:45 PM Virtual Conference Log in from your own home. Register for any number of sessions – or all five! 

The series kicks off on Thursday, October 1 with a talk on “Covid and Cancer: What We Have Learned” by Dr. William Nelson Director, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Professor of Oncology
Additional Workshops will be:
October 8: Moving and Stretching for Everyone
October 15: Meditation: Your Tool for Relaxation
October 22: Laughter is the Best Medicine!
October 29: Maximizing Survivorship through Palliative Care 

To register by September 26 go to http://bit.ly/SurvivorshipConference2020 – or call 410-955-8934


In the News...

JoAnn Symons, chair 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 2018 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
Karen Ribler
Christy Schmidt
Patricia Seggerman, Secretary
Paige Whitaker
Susan Yaffe-Oziel
Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, Honorary Member


Thank you to our supporters!

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