Hoping to improve the rate of early ovarian cancer diagnoses by supporting early detection through symptom awareness and research funding, Newk’s Cares enters its fifth year having raised more than $970,000 since 2014 for the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA). The alliance is the world’s leading organization dedicated to ovarian cancer research and education.
Newk’s Eatery, the Jackson, Mississippi-based restaurant chain with more than 130 locations in 15 states, sponsors the philanthropic effort with various promotions and events. During September, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Newk’s turned its collection of collectible cups teal, the campaign’s color. The restaurants have also supplanted their red straws with teal ones.
The Newk’s-sponsored indoor cycling event, Ovarian Cycle Jackson, held Sept. 20, drew about 170 riders, who collected donations individually or as teams. A total donation of $250,000 was presented to OCRA.
In August, Newk’s Cares teamed with St. Dominic Hospital to enhance disease awareness and support prevention and treatment through a Lunch & Learn event in Jackson. At the event, patients and professionals discussed the disease’s symptoms and research outlook.
Through March, Newk’s Eateries will feature a Thai-inspired chicken soup with garlic, turmeric, and bell peppers, which contain antioxidants thought to help reduce the risk of cancer. The restaurants also contribute 10 cents from every bottle of water sold to OCRA.
Newk’s Cares was established in 2014 in honor of Lori Newcomb, wife of Newk’s Eatery chief executive officer Chris Newcomb. With few to no symptoms, she was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer in 2013.
”Time had passed, and it took until I knew something was drastically wrong to listen to my body,” she said in a news release. “Early warning signs are often missed or thought to be normal aches. I want women everywhere to be aware of the symptoms, so if they are having any warning signs, they will go to the doctor and take care of their bodies right away, since early detection and treatment increases the survival rate to more than 92 percent.”
In partnership with OCRA, Newk’s Cares has developed a national drive to raise awareness and give patients hope.
”We’re proud to continue to use our platform through Newk’s Cares to fund the work of leading ovarian cancer researchers, and bring more light to this disease,” said Chris Newcomb. “We have a mission to educate women everywhere about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, and to start a conversation that has lifesaving potential.”
Newk’s Cares can be followed on Facebook.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 22,240 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer through 2018. It ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women. The rate at which women are diagnosed has been slowly falling over the last 20 years.
Women diagnosed at an early stage have a much higher five-year survival rate than those diagnosed later. Some 15 percent of ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed with early-stage disease, OCRA said.