Where does the money go?
To Fund Ovarian Cancer Research
Since its establishment in 1996, the Rivkin Center has awarded over $10 million in research grants to independent investigators around the world, making them one of the largest non-profit funders of ovarian cancer research in the United States. These research grants are supported entirely by Rivkin Center donors, including supporters of the SummeRun & Walk.
A few Rivkin Center funded research success stories include: defining the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer when none were thought to exist, discovering new biomarkers that indicated the presence of ovarian cancer in urine, and demonstrating that the most common and lethal form of ovarian cancer originates in the fallopian tubes.
A recent snapshot shows that between 2008 and 2013, the Rivkin Center awarded $4.7 million in donor-funded research grants to 73 investigators. These scientists took those grants and translated them into over $35 million in new grants from other funding agencies – a 7.5 fold return on investment!
Gifts to the SummeRun also support the biennial Ovarian Cancer Research Symposium, which is held every other year. In 2016, almost 300 researchers traveled to Seattle from all over the globe to share their findings and ideas on ovarian cancer biology, prevention, early detection, and therapies.
To Educate About Ovarian and Breast Health
In 2016, the Rivkin Center merged with CanCan to add ovarian and breast cancer education and awareness to its programming initiatives. This expanded focus on education addresses a vital need to increase awareness about ovarian cancer, especially as new medical advances continue to happen.
CanCan offers one hour workshops that educate attendees about ovarian and breast cancer in a frank, fun, and fear-free manner. A health instructor discusses risk factors for ovarian and breast cancer, family history, signs and symptoms, and early detection. An ovarian or breast cancer survivor also shares her journey.
The workshops are held on college campuses and any place women gather in the community, such as workplaces, religious organizations, mom’s groups, low income residential communities, senior living facilities, women’s shelters, and multicultural community centers. CanCan workshops are expected to reach 10,000 women in Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and California in 2017.
To Expand Early Detection Screening
The Rivkin Center established the Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Program (OCEDP), an important surveillance program at Swedish for women at high risk of developing ovarian cancer.
OCEDP was the only free screening program of its kind in the Seattle region when it was launched with the help of donors like you in 2009. More than 500 women participating in the program received twice-yearly CA-125 blood test, annual ovarian ultrasounds, and optional genetic counseling sessions. Between 2009 and 2015, OCEDP caught early cancer in five women and directed 69 others to preventative surgery that may have life-saving results.
In January 2016, OCEDP transitioned fully into the Swedish Cancer Institute, and the Rivkin Center remains committed to using donor funds, including support from the SummeRun, to help expand access to screening for high risk women in the community.