Support & Networking

Comfort & Hope Tote Program

The WNY Ovarian Cancer Projects "Comfort & Hope" Totes are given free to every woman newly diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer through her Gynecologic Oncologists office. These totes are filled with items to take along to chemotherapy appointments, but more importantly send a message Hope from women who have been on the journey and are extending a hand of understanding & support. 

We have had a wonderful response to this program, and some incredible feedback from women who have received the bags. One woman who was given a bag at the time of her 2nd recurrence emphatically told us, that she had new hope, after learning the stories of others like her who had similar recurrence patterns. Another newly diagnosed women have called us about resources for wigs, long term side effects, and ‘just to talk’.  We have also received calls from both  family members and friends looking for more information and support for their loved ones. 

Need more information? Contact:  Angela Mallia our Comfort & Hope Tote Program Coordinator at amallia@wnyovariancancerproject.org

Support Groups

Networking and Support Groups can help women with Ovarian Cancer cope better with their illness, by providing knowledge of treatment and side-effects, and emotional support from others with the same diagnosis.  Studies have shown that talking to others in at a networking or support group can decrease anxiety and depression and help women feel less isolated and distressed therefore improving their quality of life.

Western New York
Welcome to the WNY Ovarian Cancer Project's Support Group Program. We know that if you are joining one of our groups, you are dealing or have dealt with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. And we know that's not easy. This group is here to support you in this difficult journey.
This support group offers a safe and caring environment for women dealing with ovarian cancer:

  • to meet with others who are experiencing similar challenges
  • to explore and share feelings about your situation
  • to discuss problems and stress arising from the illness and treatment
  • to learn about resources, treatment options and ways to manage side effects
  • to share humor, meaning and hope.

Professional Facilitation: Kathy Kurtz, MSW is our professional facilitator who invites everyone to talk about their own experiences and guides the discussion, sometimes presenting more structured infomration. Kathy has over 20 years of experience as a social worker and her background includes medical social work, individual counseling, and working with children. 

Confidentiality & Respect:  All shared information is to be respected and kept confidential. While talking with non-participants about your own experience on the call, it is important not to disclose information about other group members or mention them by name.

Support not Psychotherapy:  It is important to remember that this is a support group, not a psychotherapy group. Support groups have been shown to be extremely helpful in improving quality of life and survivorship for those dealing with cancer. We want to offer this kind of help to as many people as we can. However, some issues are not appropriate to be dealt with in a group setting. For those facing such issues,we will attempt to refer them for appropriate assistance.

How do I become a member? Our group is open and ongoing, new members can join at any time. Before attending your first group, you will need to fill out our New Participant Form and send it to Kathy Kurtz our group facilitator. Kathy will then contact you about attending your first group. We accept participants at any stage of the cancer experience: newly diagnosed, dealing with recurrence, and long-term survivors. Attendance is completely voluntary.

Free of Charge: There is no cost to you for this group. All of the services of the WNY Ovarian Cancer Project are free of charge.

Ovarian Cancer Tele-Support Group
Meets Once a Month: First Sunday 6:30PM to 8:00PM
WNY Ovarian Cancer Project, Inc. http://wnyovariancancerproject.com/
Facilitator: Kathy Kurtz, LMSW
Group open to women with Ovarian Cancer living in the 12 Counties of WNY
RSVP Required: Click on the link to print & fill out Participant Personal Information Sheet PDF
                         Send via email to: kkurtz@wnyovariancancerproject.org 
                         Or Mail to: WNY Ovarian Cancer Project, Inc.
                         6006 Georgetown Court
                         Pendleton, NY 14094-9528

Ovarian Cancer Support Group
Meets the 3rd Saturday of each in the Village of Williamsville
WNY Ovarian Cancer Project, Inc.  http://wnyovariancancerproject.com/support.html
Facilitator: Kathy Kurtz, LMSW
Group open to women with Ovarian Cancer living in the 12 Counties of WNY
RSVP Required: Click on the link to print & fill out Participant Personal Information Sheet PDF
                         Send via email to: kkurtz@wnyovariancancerproject.org 
                         Or Mail to: WNY Ovarian Cancer Project, Inc.
                         6006 Georgetown Court
                         Pendleton, NY 14094-9528


Rochester, NY


Common Ground: Metastatic Breast, GYN Cancer Support  Group
Meets Twice a Month: 1st & 3rd Thursday 12:00PM to 1:30PM 
Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, NY http://bccr.org/programs/common-ground/ 
1048 University Avenue Rochester, NY 14607 
Facilitator:  Peg DeBaise, LMFT 
Discussion is topic-based, all concerns of those present will be addressed. 
Lunch is provided! 
RSVP Required: Call 585-473-8177


Gilda's Club
Gynecological Cancer Networking Group
Meets Once a Month: Call for date & time
Gilda's Club Rochester New York
255 Alexander St Rochester, NY 14607
Facilitator:  Mary Casselman, Program Director
Note: Please call before attending your first meeting! 585-423-9700

SHARE
Hotline: Need to speak with someone today? Call the Share Ovarian Cancer Toll-Free Hotline 866-53 SHARE. You can speak to an ovarian cancer survivor trained to offer information, support, and hope. The hotline is staffed by ovarian cancer survivors in various regions throughout New York State. http://www.sharecancersupport.org/information/about_ovarian_cancer/share_s_ovarian_cancer_hotline_a/


Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
Online Group: The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance Support Community connects patients, families, friends and caregivers for support and inspiration. This community is sponsored by the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, a trusted partner. http://www.inspire.com/groups/ovarian-cancer-national-alliance/

Our Stories
Storytelling is a power and subtle tool. Having stories about women who have had Ovarian Cancer and who are living with Ovarian Cancer is one of our most effective ways to communicate to you the hope, understanding and inspiration of our mission. If you would like to share your story, your words will help us educate, inspire, give hope, educate and make a difference, please contact us.
Symptoms & Risks

One in 70 women in the United States is diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, knowing the symptoms and your personal risk factors can help you save your life! Read more...