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Avid skier and nature enthusiast says there’s more to her life than ovarian cancer

One Saturday morning, just days after being told she might have ovarian cancer and scheduling surgery with her doctors, Ellie Burnett went skiing in the 2013 Alaska Ski for Women. “There’s an immediacy to being outside and skiing,” she says. “You don’t have time to think about things, just what’s right in front of you…

Family of ovarian cancer survivor speaks out about their experience

Craig Ely is sitting on the couch at his home in Anchorage, Alaska, with his daughter, Tessa, and son, Colin. The retired wildlife research biologist is the husband of ovarian cancer survivor Mary Rita Ely, and his family has been through a lot in recent years. “Ovarian cancer is very unrepresented in the media,” he…

Healthy active Alaska teacher shares her journey through ovarian cancer

When Mary Rita Ely was told that she might have ovarian cancer, she was in shock. “You f***ing have to be kidding me!” She exclaimed to her doctor. “I’m better than that!” She had always been active, eaten well, and been healthy. The night before her appointment, Mary Rita and her daughter, Tess, had looked up their life…

Alaska surgeon leads fight against ovarian cancer

Sitting in the breakroom of her women’s cancer practice well after hours, and still in scrubs, Dr. Joanie Mayer Hope gets straight to the point. Her father was born in Germany during the Holocaust. Her great grandmother died at Auschwitz. It was one of the most horrific events in history, and it instilled values that…

Daughter of 3x cancer survivor raises awareness for gynecologic cancers

“I remember my dad combing his hair in the mirror and just crying because it was falling out.” Ali Tolman was only four years old when her father was first diagnosed with stomach cancer. He received three diagnoses between Ali’s fourth and seventh years of life, two rounds of stomach cancer, and prostate cancer on…

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