Patricia Franchi Flaherty, Founder of Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer


ovations for the cure of ovarian cancer
—taking a stand against ovarian cancer


our history

Our founder, nine-year survivor Patricia Franchi Flaherty, took a stand when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a second time in 2006. Thirty years prior, Patty lost her mother to the very same disease. She learned that in the years since her mother's death, little more was known about ovarian cancer. She decided that whether or not this disease took her life, she was not going to let it take her quietly.

Patty had an idea brewing: she wanted to start an organization whose sole purpose would be to raise funds and awareness for ovarian cancer and the women who were fighting the battle. She wanted to leave a legacy and not simply go away with a whisper, as so many patients do. Armed with a handful of her best friends, she formed an organization to do just that. Patty and another close friend decided on a name, Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer. Recalling her mother's quote from childhood, "A butterfly is the spirit of a loved one who is no longer with us," the teal butterfly became the symbol of hope for Ovations.

Right off the starting line, Ovations decided that the best way to raise money was to host events. Their first event—the Stuart Weitzman Fashion Show—was a huge success. The show, which became an annual event for five consecutive years, raised over $250,000 in support of Ovations' mission each year. Not stopping there, Ovations has aligned itself with several other international brands such as McDonalds, Carmen Marc Valvo, Roberto Coin, Cold Stone Creamery, Kenzie Kids and Neiman Marcus. Ovations has hosted numerous events benefiting ovarian cancer, from golf tournaments at several New England area golf courses, forming Team Ovations for the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk, a tennis tournament at Waltham Athletic Club, a concert with Girl Authority, all the way to small, intimate in-home awareness parties. To date, Ovations has dedicated over $1.4 million to ovarian cancer research, awareness and patient programs.

Since 2006, Ovations has grown to become a force in the corner of ovarian cancer patients. It is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of a cure for ovarian cancer.

what we do

At Ovations, we invest in the power of hope. We support research objectives, groundbreaking treatment programs, public education awareness efforts and even patient information and morale-boosting initiatives.

Long before the creation of Ovations, Patty and her family formed the Madeline Franchi Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. They have since added to their arsenal by establishing the Ovations for the Cure Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at Children's Hospital Boston, The Ovations for the Cure Research Fund at City of Hope Cancer Center in Los Angeles and joined forces to support the twoAM Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Center. Ovations also reviews their National Grant Program annually for programs that adhere to the Ovations mission. Not stopping there, Ovations has also taken part in groundbreaking treatment efforts, namely the Desensitization Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Ovations takes public education of ovarian cancer seriously. Their most successful effort is the Patient Awareness Program—the creation and distribution of Why Knowledge is Power brochures to more than 9,500 physicians' offices, hospitals and treatment clinics in all U.S. states, plus Canada. Ovations has also participated in September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by developing public service announcements for television and radio and launching a national campaign including billboards, informational newsletters and donation boxes at reputable locations.

Most importantly, Ovations is committed to ongoing patient information and morale-boosting initiatives. Ovations provides patients with the latest information and research on ovarian cancer at the annual Learning for Living with Ovarian Cancer Symposium—a free conference open to cancer patients. Another notable initiative was the Happy Feet program, where Ovations provided an exclusively designed pair of Stuart Weitzman slip-ons to ovarian cancer patients undergoing treatment. This program alone touched the lives of over 3,500 women and undoubtedly made their journey through treatment more comfortable.

The Happy Feet program ended in December of 2010, but Ovations continues providing hope for those currently battling ovarian cancer. Ovations then introduced The Princess Bead & Bracelet, which presents patients with an elegant, silver-plated bangle bracelet adorned with a teal blue crystal bead, with sterling silver imprints on each side. The bracelets are free to patients and survivors as a way of guiding them on their roads to recovery.

Ovations recognizes that ovarian cancer patients may need help and guidance while battling this disease. One of the ways we can assist patients in need is by providing a healthy, well-balanced diet. And now, through our Helping Hands program, we can provide patients with meals—free of charge—across all of New England. These meals are not only healthy, but they're delicious too!

Ovations is now offering personalized guestbooks for family, friends, loved ones and even the general public to view and sign. These guestbooks are an uplifting place to write personal messages, recall memories, and show that you care, even if you live miles away. Ovations will set up a guestbook for you upon request, free of charge, to help during a difficult time. While the effects of ovarian cancer are severe, no one should have to be alone while in treatment or recovery.

take your stand today

As long as ovarian cancer takes a quiet approach, our research and awareness efforts must refuse to do the same. That is why your support is crucial—not just because our goals are great, but because the need for a cure is even greater. In so many ways, your commitment can translate into hope for the thousands upon thousands of women who will face ovarian cancer. By your acts of giving, we will save lives. Please make a donation today!