OVARIAN CANCER FOUNDATION NZ
Te Kaikōkiri Mate Pukupuku Kākano-ā-Kopu ki Aotearoa
The Ovarian Cancer Foundation New Zealand’s vision is for every woman to have the chance to live the life she wants, free from ovarian cancer.
Unfortunately, the reality is that many Kiwi women living with ovarian cancer face challenges at every step of their diagnosis; they are being left behind and are unable to access equitable healthcare compared to other more common cancers.
Improve ovarian cancer care today, while funding transformational research to find tomorrow’s cure.
- Funding research to improve treatments with the ultimate aim of finding a cure
- Advocating with women for access to equitable healthcare
- Facilitating support for Kiwi women, wherever they are across the country
- Leading awareness to ensure everyone knows the symptoms of ovarian cancer and that women know when to advocate for their health
Since 2018, we have made a significant impact including:
- Investing over $500,000 into ovarian cancer research
- Implementing monthly counsellor-facilitated online peer-support groups for women living with ovarian cancer – available to any person within New Zealand with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer
- Producing the most comprehensive report on ovarian cancer in New Zealand ever published, resulting in the Health Select Committee making recommendations to improve ovarian cancer diagnosis to Health New Zealand Te Whatu Ora in 2023
- Distributing ovarian cancer symptoms posters to every GP practice in the country to raise awareness
- Establishing the first online pathways in the world to allow people with low-grade serous ovarian cancer to donate and fundraise for low-grade serous ovarian cancer research
The Ovarian Cancer Foundation New Zealand (OCFNZ) was founded in 2018 by Jane Ludemann, and was formerly known as Cure Our Ovarian Cancer.
Jane was just 32 years old when she was diagnosed with low-grade serous ovarian cancer (LGSOC), a rare and poorly survivable ovarian cancer; she had spent over two years prior visiting her GP and other specialists, trying to find answers to the persistent symptoms she was experiencing, only to be told they were nothing serious.
Finally, in 2017, Jane ended up at the emergency department, having urgent surgery, from which she woke up to a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, a cancer she had never heard of.
Given a likely prognosis of five to fifteen years, Jane was shocked to learn how little research existed for her type of ovarian cancer, and that no ovarian cancer charity in the world was regularly funding research on it.
Using her background as a health professional, Jane worked with leading researchers in the ovarian cancer field to establish online pathways for people to donate and fundraise for LGSOC research here in New Zealand and globally.
While OCFNZ’s initial focus was solely on LGSOC, Jane quickly realised that all Kiwi women living with ovarian cancer were being overlooked; there was a lack of knowledge of the disease, limited support for women and very little funding channelled into ovarian cancer research, and she expanded the organisation’s focus to helping all women with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer in New Zealand.
For five years, Jane undertook all roles within the organisation in a volunteer capacity with support from our Trustees and other generous volunteers. But she knew to make the impact we needed to have to improve ovarian cancer, our organisation had to grow.
2023 was a huge period of change for our organisation, bringing on board our first two employees and undergoing a complete brand transformation that launched in January 2024 – taking us from Cure Our Ovarian Cancer to the Ovarian Cancer Foundation New Zealand | Te Kaikōkiri Mate Pukupuku Kākano-ā-Kopu ki Aotearoa.
To honour our organisation’s original purpose, we place a special focus on low-grade serous ovarian cancer, facilitating fundraising for low-grade serous ovarian cancer research globally and raising awareness, through our Cure Our Ovarian Cancer brand.