About Cure Our Ovarian Cancer
Cure Our Ovarian Cancer is a global research organisation passionate about improving survival rates for people diagnosed with low-grade serous ovarian cancer.
From our charity home in New Zealand we work with research partners around the world, including:
To fund expert researchers - dedicated to improving the survival of people affected by low-grade serous ovarian cancer.
Jane Ludemann is the founder of Cure Our Ovarian Cancer and runs the day to day operations in an unpaid, volunteer capacity from her home in New Zealand. Assisted by fellow trustees Liz, Alana and Alicia and volunteers from the low-grade serous ovarian cancer community around the world.
First symptoms: Change in bowel habits, followed by urgent urination and fatigue. Misdiagnosed for over two years. Saw numerous doctors and specialists. Not one tested her for ovarian cancer. Diagnosed at 32 years old via emergency surgery due to cancer complications. Five years on cancer treatment to date.
Prior to her cancer diagnosis Jane was an experienced optometrist who worked in public and private practice in New Zealand and Canada. She has a lifelong love for learning and in addition to a BSc and her BOptom(Hons) she was part way through a Masters in Accounting and Finance when she was diagnosed.
Jane was initially shocked to discover the lack of awareness for ovarian cancer patients. But as a health professional what concerned her most was the lack of research.
"When I was diagnosed, there wasn't any patient information on the internet. But worse still, just over twenty research papers were being published a year on my specific type of ovarian cancer. To put that into perspective - low-grade serous ovarian cancer is about as common as cystic fibrosis and they had ten times as many research papers a year while breast cancer had over eleven thousand.
That was when I realised the situation was really bad. It wasn't just a case of not having the answers now, but at that rate, women's lives would still be being tragically cut short decades from now - unless something changed."
Unable to find any charity in the world she could fundraise for and know that even 1% would go to her cancer - Jane worked with experts around the world to ensure that women, their friends and people everywhere could easily fundraise and support research on low-grade serous cancer.
Since 2018 Cure Our Ovarian Cancer and it's charity partners have funded over $500 000 of low-grade serous cancer research, including over $60 000 in Australia . Bringing the possibility of a cure, a whole lot closer.
Liz brings an extensive range of skills through her leadership experience in the not for profit sector and experience as a Registered Nurse, management consultant working in mental health and wellbeing, and work with communities experiencing psychological trauma.
Liz was motivated to join Cure Our Ovarian Cancer after hearing Jane do an "amazing" presentation at the New Zealand parliament. She has a heart for ovarian cancer because of the personal experiences of her good friend, the late Gaylene Kepka. Gaylene inspired Liz to make change for good.
Liz is particularly passionate about consumer designed services and ensuring that the ovarian cancer community feel listened to and have a strong voice.
Liz is a devoted nan to her three granddaughters.
Alana is an operations leader in the legal sector, with experience across change management, technology, strategy, organisational performance and financial services.
Alana is passionate about contributing to society, with a special emphasis on not for profit governance. She has held a number of board positions on non-profit organisations.
Dr Alicia Didsbury
Alicia has been working on cancer immunotherapy for 12 years. Her first exposure to ovarian cancer was following the diagnosis of a family member. She was shocked to discover the relative lack of research internationally, and clinical trials locally for such a common cause of cancer death.
This led to a career pivot into ovarian cancer research and ignited a desire to help Cure Our Ovarian Cancer address the systemic inequities faced by ovarian cancer patients.