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HERA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit established in 2002 by rock climber turned healthcare advocate, Sean Patrick. HERA Ovarian Cancer Foundation's name is derived from the Greek Goddess Hera, who was the protector of women, and empowered them to stand up for themselves. HERA is also an acronym further explaining what we do and what we stand for: Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness. 

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The mission of the HERA Ovarian Cancer Foundation is to eliminate ovarian cancer by promoting Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness.


H. Health

At the heart of HERA is the underlying premise that women need to have the knowledge and confidence to fully understand and advocate for the direction of their health care. 

E. Empowerment

Through fundraising events like Climb4Life, HERA helps participants discover their own inner strength, while at the same time providing much needed education about ovarian cancer.

R. Research

HERA funds and inspires scientific researchers and medical professionals. The money raised targets and supports cutting edge research to encourage early detection, find improved treatments, and work towards a future cure.

A. Awareness

HERA is committed to informing women, the people who love them, and the health professionals who care for them, about the symptoms and treatments of ovarian cancer. 

Sean Patrick 

Born April 5, 1951 Sean Patrick grew up in Peekskill, NY. An accomplished traveler and entrepreneur, she founded a strategic marketing and design group in Western Colorado called The Impact Group. 

Sean was an avid skier, mountain biker, and hiker, who then learned to rock climb in 1990. She quickly became enamored with the sport, as it encompassed all that she loved in life: going beyond our comfort zone, pushing ourselves, and resetting the boundaries. Rock climbing would eventually turn into a pillar in the HERA structure. 

Seven years after clipping her first carabiner at age 46, Sean was considered an accomplished climber. At the same time, she faced the greatest test of her life: a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Ms. Patrick was fond of saying “When you’re out there on a ledge and there’s a storm rolling in, you can’t just cut the line. You have to keep on going and fighting.” Post 7th surgery in 2002, she formed the HERA Foundation, Partners in Action, and launched the popular HERA Climb4Life three-city fundraising event series to resolve the lack of awareness, information, and funding for ovarian cancer. Continuing to battle the disease, Ms. Patrick traveled nationwide to seek the best care and most progressive ovarian cancer research and treatment options. 

She made quite the impact, as she always had in everything that she did. In 2004 Sean appeared on NBC's The Jane Pauley show with a 1 hour special sharing her inspiring journey facing ovarian cancer. In 2005 she received Climbing Magazine’s Golden Piton award recognizing her outstanding community service. From 2005-2007 she sat on a several boards, including the Blanton Davis Board, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She worked on cancer-related issues, teaching herself everything she could about the disease, meeting an abundance of women suffering from it, and brainstorming what could be done to make a difference. She was also a member of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance’s public education committee and the SPORE External Advisory Committee at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

On January 20th, 2009, our dear friend, partner, sister, and mentor Sean Patrick succumbed to ovarian cancer after a 12 year battle. She not only fought the disease personally, but she did so for all women. It was her wish to share her knowledge and experience to improve the lives of other women afflicted and create awareness for all. That being said, her legacy reaches far beyond those impacted by ovarian cancer - it is validated by the thousands of people who have been touched by her compassion, selfless commitment, and endless dedication to make a change.

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