In the ninth year of raising funds for ovarian cancer (OC), the annual Tina’s Wish benefit gathered more than 700 supporters to raise $1.4 million for early detection research. The event took place Sept. 26 at New York’s American Museum of Natural History.
Tina’s Wish is an annual benefit dinner during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month that honors the memory of former Southern District of New York U.S. Bankruptcy Court Chief Judge Tina Brozman.
Brozman became the youngest judge appointed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for New York’s Southern District when she was 32 years old, and eventually became the chief judge of that court. Brozman was 54 years when she died in June 2007, two years after a late ovarian cancer diagnosis. She was remembered by most as an innovative jurist and a mentor to many young professionals.
This year’s event honored Lisa Donahue, AlixPartners’ managing director and global head of the Turnaround and Restructuring Group. Donahue — with AlixPartners — have been a sponsor of the Dinner Committee every year since the foundation’s inception, and Donahue served as a dinner co-chair for the 2015 benefit dinner.
Donahue was friends with Tina Brozman and, like Brozman, is a leader in her community. Her character and leadership skills honor the legacy of Brozman, according to the foundation, in whose memory the award was presented.
“This foundation is so important not only because of the critical nature of the work they are doing but also because of the unique way that they are doing it,” Donahue said in a press release. “The Tina’s Wish collaborative research consortium works together among different organizations towards a common goal — discovering an early detection method for ovarian cancer. In my experience, collaboration is the most effective and efficient way to get things done.”
Most ovarian cancer patients aren’t identified until advanced stages due to the difficulty in isolating the cancer’s subtle symptoms, as well as the lack of effective early detection screenings.
Statistics suggest that only 27 percent of patients diagnosed during stages 3 or 4 will live for more than five years. But in women diagnosed during stage 1 ovarian cancer, the five-year survival rates increase to 92 percent, demonstrating that tools for early detection are critical to changing the global impact of ovarian cancer and can help save lives.
Since it was first established nine years ago, Tina’s Wish has raised over $7 million for ovarian cancer research, becoming the third largest private funding source dedicated to early detection in the process.
The latest Tina’s Wish grant in early detection research was attributed to Dipanjan Chowdhury, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Harvard University and associate professor of radiation oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Chowdhury’s lab has demonstrated the promise of establishing a serum miRNA signature for the early detection of ovarian cancer.
“I feel that Tina’s Wish is unique in its specific focus on early detection,” Chowdhury said. “I particularly like this because it makes it easier to work with the other grantees within the consortium. Although we have different projects, we all share the one important common goal: to discover early detection methods for ovarian cancer.”