Our Story

Jill Doimer and the late Judy Morris created Ovarian Awareness of Kentucky in April 2001. Judy had ovarian cancer and no support group existed in Louisville at the time of her diagnosis. She wanted that to change for other women who were diagnosed. Jill’s mother lived in another state and had ovarian cancer. Jill and Judy met on the internet in the Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR) Ovarian Cancer Problems Discussion List Group. They decided to work together to form an alliance and raise awareness about ovarian cancer in the Louisville community.

One step at a time, like planting seedlings that grow into mighty oak trees, Ovarian Awareness of Kentucky grew to become a 501 (c) nonprofit organization. Together Jill and Judy pledged to reach surrounding communities and the entire state by holding free educational seminars, attending health fairs to distribute information on symptoms and distributing information to gynaecologists, libraries and area health departments through direct mail.

Jill and Judy found they needed to include women diagnosed with any gynaecological cancer, as there were no support groups available for them either. They partnered with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance to learn how to take the steps to reach their goals. They attended training seminars and put their plans into action. The group has since blossomed in many ways. In addition to their initial goals, they now speak to third-year medical students at the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky as part of the program “Survivors Teaching Students: Saving Women’s Lives.”

The Oak Tree

A mighty wind blew night and day. It stole the oak tree’s leaves away, then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark until the oak was tired and stark. But still, the oak tree held its ground while other trees fell all around. The weary wind gave up and spoke, “How can you still be standing, Oak?” The oak tree said, “I know that you can break each branch of mine in two, carry every leaf away, shake my limbs, and make me sway. But I have roots stretched in the earth, growing stronger since my birth. You’ll never touch them, for you see, they are the deepest part of me. Until today, I wasn’t sure of just how much I could endure. But now I’ve found, with thanks to you, I’m stronger than I ever knew.”

Author Unknown

OAK Board Members & Staff

Jill Doimer
Jill DoimerCo-Founder, Board Member
Dana Faulkner
Dana FaulknerBoard Member, President
Cheri Hauber
Cheri HauberBoard Member, Secretary
Carolyn Palmer
Carolyn PalmerBoard Member
Monica Layton
Monica LaytonBoard Member
Julie Lawrence
Julie LawrenceBoard Member
Jaime Hendricks
Jaime HendricksBoard Member
Kathy Ising
Kathy IsingExecutive Director
Sue Holden
Sue HoldenOffice Manager

Where Compassion Meets Community