Category Archives: 'HERA News'

Ovarian Cancer and Social Security Disability

April 30, 2015

Written by guest blogger Deanna Power

An ovarian cancer diagnosis is hard to accept, and is hard physically, emotionally, and financially to deal with. Ovarian cancer affects women of all ages, and is often diagnosed at a late stage. Because of this, many women with ovarian cancer need aggressive forms of treatment and are unable to continue working. The costs for the different types of treatment required for ovarian cancer can add up quickly, including a hysterectomy, chemotherapy, and other drug and hospital charges. Without insurance, these costs can quickly rise to over $200,000. Although many insurance plans cover ovarian cancer treatments, they do not cover all drugs or treatments available. Due to the hardships thousands of women face every year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disability benefits for hundreds of conditions, including ovarian cancer.

How to Medically Qualify with Ovarian Cancer

The SSA evaluates all applicants with a medical guide called the Blue Book, which has listings for various conditions, symptoms, and disability benefit qualifications. An ovarian cancer diagnosis is listed under  section 13.23E  of the Blue Book. This includes all tumors except germ-cell tumors, with tumor extension beyond the pelvis (i.e. peritoneal, omental, or bowel surfaces), metastases to or beyond the regional lymph nodes, and/or recurrent following initial antineoplastic therapy or germ-cell tumors that are progressive or recurrent following initial antineoplastic therapy.

More severe forms of ovarian cancer that also have distant metastases or are inoperable (a physician’s opinion that surgery will not be beneficial) or unresectable (the cancer is still present after surgery). If your ovarian cancer has progressed this far, it is listed on the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances List (CAL). The CAL is a list of conditions that are eligible for almost immediate approval, because the symptoms are so serious that patients can’t wait the one to two years of a normal SSD approval. Applicants with inoperable ovarian cancer or distant metastases can expect to be approved in as little as 10 days.

Types of Social Security Disability Benefits Available

The SSA offers two types of disability benefits for women with ovarian cancer. The first form of benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), is based on how long you’ve worked, how much you’ve paid into Social Security in taxes, and your previous income. Those over the age of 31 generally need to have worked and paid Social Security taxes for any five of the last ten years before applying. CAL approvals often happen in just a few weeks, but a typical SSDI application can take up to two years for an approval. Whether or not your ovarian cancer is approved under CAL, you need to wait five months after the onset date for monthly payments to start. If decisions on claims take longer than five months, you would be paid through a lump-sum check for those missed months upon approval. After being approved for SSDI, you will automatically be approved for Medicare two years after you start receiving benefits.

The second type of disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), is an income supplement funded by general federal tax revenue instead of Social Security taxes. SSI has strict financial limits, but no required work history. Because of this, it is the best option for adults with low resources or who haven’t worked throughout their lives. SSI benefits can start being paid to a woman with ovarian cancer the first month after applying, so long as she financially qualifies. A single applicant’s countable income must be less than $733 per month, with less than $2,000 in assets (stocks, bonds, life insurance, etc.). A couple can’t make more than $1,100 of countable income per month and must have less than $3,000 in assets. The SSA will not include one house, one car, or other personal items such as wedding ring when evaluating an applicant’s assets. SSI recipients in most states are eligible to receive Medicaid.

Applying for Social Security Disability

To apply for disability benefits with ovarian cancer, you will need a birth certificate, tax information, thorough medical information and other documents. It is important to include as much thorough medical evidence as possible for ovarian cancer applications, including medical records, lab results, and written statements from your physicians. The amount of time that it takes for the SSA to come a decision on your claim depends primarily on how quickly they can get medical evidence from your doctor and whether another medical exam is necessary for approval.

For a complete checklist on what you’ll need to apply for disability benefits, review the Adult Disability Starter Kit  on the SSA’s website. SSDI applications can be completed online, but SSI applications must be completed in person, so be sure to make an appointment with your local SSA office.

If you have already applied for disability benefits for ovarian cancer and your application was denied, you can appeal the decision. If you were denied for medical reasons, you can fill out  the Appeal Request and Appeal Disability Report or contact your local Social Security office in person or 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 for TTY.

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Deanna Power is the Community Outreach Manager at Social Security Disability Help. She assists people with disabilities with the application process for Social Security benefits, from initially submitting paperwork to keeping benefits after approval. She has been featured on numerous disability resources such TASH.org and NDSS.org. She lives in Boston, MA with her hamster.

Categories: Blog, HERA News, Ovarian Cancer News

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Breaking News – Ovarian Cancer Research Dream Team Selected

April 21, 2015

Board President (far left) Samantha Lockwood and Collaborating Partners

Board President (far left) Samantha Lockwood and Collaborating Partners

Stand Up to Cancer Ovarian Cancer Dream Team Announced

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Scientific Partner to SU2C, announced today the formation of a Dream Team devoted to ovarian cancer research at the AACR Annual Meeting 2015, held in Philadelphia.

HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation is contributing $200,000 to this effort because of your support. Thank you. This is an opportunity that will have great impact for the ovarian cancer community as a whole, and we are thrilled to be one of the organizations collaborating in this effort. For the thousands of women and families affected by ovarian cancer who are looking to the world of science for answers, innovative research is the best hope for achieving better outcomes.

Our focus at HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation is eliminating ovarian cancer by funding scientific research grants. The Stand Up to Cancer Ovarian Cancer collaborative effort allows HERA to better leverage every dollar raised for this partnership. Our participation in this effort would not be possible without you. Thank you for your unwavering support in what we do. Your support means the world to every life that has been affected by this insidious disease.

I hope you will share this news with family and friends who have supported us and take pride in our accomplishments together.   Read on…

Collaborating organizations, including HERA, will collectively devote $6 million over three years to a project entitled “DNA Repair Therapies for Ovarian Cancer.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year approved the drug olaparib to treat women with advanced ovarian cancer associated with defective BRCA genes, which are among a number of DNA repair genes identified as mutated in ovarian cancer. The existence of defects in DNA repair has emerged as a common weakness in ovarian cancer. By targeting DNA repair pathways, the Dream Team hopes to build and expand on the recent clinical advances seen with olaparib and other PARP inhibitors in current clinical trials.

The team will also focus on prevention and early detection of ovarian cancer, which tends to be diagnosed at a late stage of the disease.

Alan D’Andrea, MD, co-director of the Gene Therapy Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and the Fuller-American Cancer Society professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, will lead the Dream Team. Elizabeth M. Swisher, MD, professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington in Seattle, will be co-leader.

In addition to the team leaders, the project will involve researchers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota; University of Chicago; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston; and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Thank you for your unwavering support!

Full Press Release

Categories: Blog, HERA News, Ovarian Cancer News

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HERA Interview 9News

June 17, 2013

9News

June 13, 2013

Susie Wargin interview of HERA ED, Meg Steitz, and C4L CO Event Coordinator, Emily Clarendon, to promote the Climb4Life Colorado on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

Click here to watch the interview.

Categories: HERA News, In the News

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HERA Helios Shoe Review

April 12, 2013

Trail Runner

April 12, 2013

Click here to read the on-line article.

 

 

Categories: HERA News, In the News

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Sasha DiGiulian Offers Climbing Clinic for HERA

March 12, 2012

Pro climber, Sasha DiGiulian, will offer a free technique clinic to kick off HERA’s Climb4Life Boston event!  The clinic will be held Friday, April 20, 3:00-5:00 pm, at MetroRock, 69 Norman St., Everett, MA.  Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to learn tips from one of the top female climbers in the world, and winner of the 2011 World Championship Gold Medal.  Space in the clinic is limited!  To sign up for the clinic, e-mail:  c4lma@herafoundation.org.  Once you’ve learned how to climb like a pro, then join us April 28-29 for the first-ever Climb4Life Boston.  The registration fee of $35 per person includes admission to the MetroRock gym, plus their amazing ropes course.  To register for HERA’s Climb4Life Boston, click here.

Thanks to HERA’s longtime partner, Petzl, for helping us bring Sasha to Boston!

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Celebrate HERA

March 7, 2012

HERA Celebrates 10 Years of Women’s Health and Empowerment

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation!  What better way to kick off the celebration than with the debut of the new KUED PBS documentary, “Climb for Life:  A Legacy,” about HERA’s founder, Sean Patrick.  In establishing the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation, Sean gathered a community, became a catalyst for change, and continues, even after her death, to inspire the critical quest for ovarian cancer research and awareness.  The HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation is deeply committed to continuing her work, and here’s how you can celebrate HERA.

Be part of our $10 for 10 Campaign.  Donate $10 per month for the remaining 10 months of the year and help us carry on Sean’s legacy. Click here to make your recurring donation now.

Challenge yourself.  Be part of our fun, creative events that are held all year, all across the country, all to benefit HERA.  From our signature Climb4LifeSM weekends to Run Like a Girl to the Ragnar Relay series to the “family friendly” Fit to Fight Triathlon Festival, there’s something for everyone.  To celebrate our 10th and help HERA, join us at one or more events in 2012.  You’ll be glad you did.

Spread the word.  Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed in its later stages because the symptoms are overlooked.  Caught early, it is treatable and curable, and raising awareness is key to saving lives.  Click here to learn the symptoms.  Share this with the women in your life.

The mission of the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation is to stop the loss of women to ovarian cancer by promoting Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness.  Funds raised provide for cutting-edge scientific research grants, as well as community grants that raise awareness about the disease.  To learn more about the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation, visit www.herafoundation.org.

Categories: HERA News, Newsletters

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HERA Joins OCTF

February 7, 2012

Four Colorado Non-Profits Working Together to Promote Early Detection, Research, Outreach and Support Services

The Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance, the Cheryl Shackelford Foundation, the Sue DiNapoli Ovarian Cancer Foundation and the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation have formed a new consortium – The Ovarian Cancer Task Force (OCTF).  Their goal is to save women’s lives by supporting the efforts of partner groups to raise awareness of ovarian cancer through education including the promotion of early detection, as well as research, outreach, support services and other means.

The new task force is part of the Colorado Cancer Coalition (CCC) and will be led by Guadalupe (Pep) Torres, Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA) Executive Director.

Every 40 hours one woman in Colorado dies from ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in females in the United States but it is the deadliest gynecologic cancer.  The American Cancer Society estimates that 22,280 women in the United States will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer in 2012 and that 15,500 women will die from the disease.

In their organization’s mission statement, each of the OCTF members stresses the importance of raising awareness.  They know that deaths can be prevented by greater recognition of ovarian cancer symptoms and earlier diagnosis.   If the disease is found in an early stage, up to 90 percent of the women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will survive for more than five years.  Unfortunately, over 80 percent of diagnosed cases are in stage III/IV, when the disease has already spread beyond the ovaries. 

There is no universally-accepted screening test for ovarian cancer – and the Pap test does not check for ovarian cancer – so being able to recognize the symptoms is critical to saving lives.  Symptoms of ovarian cancer include suddenly occurring and persistent bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary urgency or frequency.  However, the symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and may not be specific or severe, so often women do not seek medical attention and health professionals fail to diagnose it early.

The Task Force is already discussing plans for an Ovarian Cancer Summit in September 2012.

The Ovarian Cancer Task Force Member Organizations:

The Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance

The mission of COCA is to promote awareness about ovarian cancer through advocacy, education and support.  COCA’s goals are to advocate for women with ovarian cancer, and for ovarian cancer awareness, through participation in activities at the local, state and national levels; to educate women, families, doctors and health care providers about early detection of ovarian cancer through Survivors Teaching Students™ and COCA Speakers Bureau; and to support survivors through offering ongoing Nicki’s Circle Ovarian Cancer Support Groups.   To learn more about COCA and its work, click here.

The Cheryl Shackelford Foundation

Cofounded by and named in honor of a 20-year survivor of ovarian cancer, CSF is committed to raising public awareness and educating women in the state of Colorado regarding the symptoms, risk factors and facts about ovarian cancer. CSF’s goals are to increase the rate of early detection of ovarian cancer and assist those women diagnosed with the disease in a supportive role.  To learn more about CSF and its work, click here.

Sue DiNapoli Ovarian Cancer Foundation

Sue DiNapoli, a resident of El Paso County, enjoyed a life filled with family, friends, volunteer work and fun. With a contagious laugh and a remarkable spirit, her upbeat attitude and determination helped her battle ovarian cancer for more than 5-1/2 years. Proceeds of the Sue DiNapoli Ovarian Cancer Foundation help low income and under-insured women in the Pikes Peak area with screening and early detection of ovarian cancer. To learn more about the Foundation and its work, click here.

HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation:

The HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to stop the loss of women from ovarian cancer by promoting Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness.  As a nationally recognized ovarian cancer organization, HERA provides funding for cutting-edge research grants to scientists at respected medical institutions.  In so doing, HERA attracts more young researchers to expand the scientific understanding of ovarian cancer while improving the lives of those battling the disease.  In addition, HERA awards grants to local community groups to raise awareness about the disease in novel and unusual ways.  More information is available at www.herafoundation.org.

Categories: Blog, HERA News, Ovarian Cancer News

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HERA Kicks Off 10th Anniversary

January 25, 2012

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation.  What better way to kick off the celebration than with the debut of a new documentary, “Climb for Life:  A Legacy,” about HERA’s founder, Sean Patrick.

KUED in Salt Lake City produced the 30-minute film which premiered during Outdoor Retailer market on Thursday, January 19.  Over 80 guests gathered at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art to share memories of Sean, chat about the Climb4Life events, and enjoy this engaging film about an engaging woman.  In establishing the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation, Sean gathered a community, became a catalyst for change, and continues, even after her death, to inspire the critical quest for ovarian cancer research and awareness.  The HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation is deeply committed to continuing her work and carrying forth her legacy.

DVDs of the documentary will be available soon.  Our thanks to KUED for creating this inspiring film and to our screening sponsor, Black Diamond.

The HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation offers a series of fun, creative events throughout the year.  Join us at one or more in 2012 to celebrate our 10th. You can also help by being part of our $10 for 10 Campaign.  Donate $10 per month for the entire year and help us carry on Sean’s legacy.  Click here to make your recurring donation now!

Categories: Blog, HERA News, Ovarian Cancer News

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We Won!

December 21, 2011

We Won!  Congress Funds Ovarian Cancer Research and Education

Great news came out of Washington, DC yesterday.  Congress has passed an omnibus appropriations bill for this fiscal year to fund ovarian cancer research and education!  The funding includes $5 million for Johanna’s Law: The Gynecologic Education and Awareness Act; $4.9 million for the Ovarian Cancer Control Initiative, and $16 million for the Ovarian Cancer Research Program run by the Department of Defense.

The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) fought hard to bring about this legislation.  Thanks to the HERA community for making calls, sending e-mails, and talking to your elected representatives.  You made a huge difference!

Click here to read the OCNA announcement.

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“Climb for Life” Documentary Premieres at OR

December 9, 2011

KUED in Salt Lake City is producing a new documentary on HERA’s founder, Sean Patrick, to be released in January 2012.  “Climb for Life:  A Legacy” will premiere during Outdoor Retailer market on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 S. West Temple.    Please join us for this special preview screening as we celebrate Sean’s life and work.  In establishing the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation, she gathered a community, became a catalyst for change, and continues, even after her death, to inspire the critical quest for ovarian cancer research and awareness.  Seating is limited and reservations are required by calling 801-585-3523 or email jvoland@kued.org.

Our thanks to KUED for creating the documentary and to our screening sponsor, Black Diamond!

For a sneak peek at the documentary, click here.

Categories: Blog, HERA News, Ovarian Cancer News

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