Imagine how many lives might be saved if we could simply detect this disease sooner.

To Donate

This is a grassroots fundraising effort based in Concord, MA.  100% of every  donation will support the MGH Ovarian Cancer Research Program.  Through online and other gifts, this fundraiser has already exceeded $100,000!! Our goal is to raise at least $200,000. 

A matching gift from one of our donors will double the impact of your generous contribution to this research.

Write checks to Mass. General Hospital (in note: Ovarian Cancer Early Detection) 

Mail to: Keith Erickson, Mass General Development Office

125 Nashua St., Ste. 540, Boston, MA 02114-1101

617-643-5776 /

OR donate online at our MGH fundaising page

Why does early detection matter?

Until very recently, the science was inadequate to develop an early detection test for ovarian cancer. With improved molecular and computational technology, there is now the possibility of a breakthrough: Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital are working on a promising study to develop an accurate blood test to detect ovarian cancer at its earliest and most curable stages. The science underlying this test could be a model for other cancers that, like ovarian cancer, tend to evade detection until late stages. 

MGH is uniquely positioned to make a major contribution in the development of this blood test. Earlier research established a collection of tissue samples from thousands of women before and after they developed cancer. With these samples—the holy grail for biomarker research—scientists will be able to verify that a blood test is accurate at the very earliest stages of cancer, long before any other cancer diagnostics are possible. 

Donate to support this critical work and advance the development of an early detection test.

Learn more about the research

Find out more


Nora Murphy


Nora Murphy teaches high school with Steve Wells in the Boston area. She had no symptoms and believed herself to be entirely healthy when she was diagnosed with an aggressive, incurable Stage IV ovarian cancer two years ago, at age 45. Since then she has received chemotherapy, surgery, and novel biologic medications including immunotherapy to slow her cancer’s progression. She remains in treatment. 

Steve Wells


Steve Wells teaches high school with Nora Murphy in the Boston area. Prior to her unexpected Stage IV ovarian cancer diagnosis, Steve’s mother, Lois, was healthy and active. She enjoyed working out in the gym, swimming, and taking nature walks. By the time Lois learned she had ovarian cancer, it had already spread. Treatments were unable to stop her cancer from growing, and Lois died nine months later, at the age of 67. Ten years later, she is still deeply missed by her children, grandchildren, family members, and friends.

Sheldon Simon


Sheldon Simon is a Boston-based investment analyst. He serves as trustee for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), where he chairs the Research Oversight Committee and serves on the BIDMC Cancer Center International Advisory Board. He founded and currently co-chairs the Men’s Collaborative to Cure Women’s Cancers, which supports the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers.

Steven Skates


Steven Skates, Ph.D., is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. His research focuses on discovery of blood proteins to detect cancer, development of algorithms to interpret changes in blood protein levels, and design and evaluation of early detection cancer tests. He co-developed a test using each woman’s baseline CA-125 blood protein that resulted in improved cancer detection and evidence of reduced mortality from ovarian cancer. With Michael Gillette and Michael Birrer (University of Alabama at Birmingham), he is working towards an ovarian cancer early detection test using multiple blood proteins to find the disease at its earliest stages. 

Michael Gillette


Michael Gillette, M.D., Ph.D., is a Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Attending and Associate Physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a Senior Group Leader in Proteomics and Biomarker Discovery at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He brings a blend of clinical knowledge and current practice, experimental design, mass spectrometry and diverse laboratory skills, and over a decade of direct experience to identifying blood proteins characteristic of ovarian and other cancers.

Richard Penson


Richard Penson, M.D., is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Clinical Director of Medical Gynecologic Oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Nora is one of his patients, the majority of whom have ovarian cancer. He leads and actively participates in design, implementation, and data analysis to investigate new treatments for ovarian, endometrial, and cervical cancer. He is on the National Gynecologic Oncology Group committees for ovarian cancer and quality of life research and on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Ovarian Committee.

Film directors: Jill Tufts, Jennifer Flint, Camera operators: Patrick Ruth, Julia Liu, Talia Krohmal, Editor: Adam Gooder, Production assistant: Aidan Shapiro-Leighton

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