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Saving women from ovarian cancer

The Queen of Hearts Foundation
Queen of Hearts Foundation
UC Irvine Ovarian Cancer Center Director Dr. Robert Bristow, left, and Dr. Krishnansu Tewari flank Lori Hunter, Kim Beaudette and Cathy Greinke, who created the Queen of Hearts Foundation in memory of their mother who died of the disease. The foundation has committed more than $400,000 to support the center's efforts to combat the disease, including support for Ann's Clinic, in honor of their late mother, Ann Dobbie.

Siblings create foundation in honor of their late mother

The Queen of Hearts Foundation was launched in 2000 by the children of Ann S. Dobbie, who died of a rare form of ovarian cancer.

Their goal: to raise funds for research and early detection of the stealth disease, which claims the lives of more than 15,000 women each year.

Most important, the nonprofit Orange County organization is dedicated to letting women who have been diagnosed with the disease know that there is hope for survival.

Now in its second decade, the foundation continues to fund UC Irvine programs aimed at improving ovarian cancer treatment options and survival rates. The group also strives to promote public awareness and education about the disease and its symptoms.

"We want the women diagnosed with ovarian cancer to know there is hope for survival," Dobbie's son Greg Foster and daughters Kim Beaudette, Cathy Greinke and Lori Hunter write on the foundation website. "We are the only foundation in Southern California specifically dedicated to funding ovarian cancer research projects."

In 2003, the foundation began a funding research at UC Irvine’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country. That support led to the establishment of an ovarian cancer research laboratory on the university’s Irvine campus.

Recently, the foundation signed a new a five-year agreement to support the UC Irvine Ovarian Cancer Center, which aims to be a regional and national leader in the care of patients with ovarian cancer as well as an engine of leading-edge research and a repository of the latest information about the disease, its diagnosis and range of treatments.

As part of this effort, the Ovarian Cancer Center is offering the only high-risk ovarian cancer screening and survivorship program in Orange County, called Ann's Clinic, after Dobbie, who passed away on Christmas Day 1999, less than six months after her diagnosis at age 65.

"We remain passionate that early detection, early awareness and intelligent medical attention are the keys to fighting this cancer," Dobbie's children say.