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Advocacy in Action – Grace Elizabeth’s Story

By September 6, 2022No Comments

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Anyone born with ovaries is at risk for ovarian cancer. We sat down with our NOCC Global Awareness Ambassador, Grace Elizabeth, and talked about the unique ways she is spreading ovarian cancer awareness using her passion and skills.  

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC): Why did you get involved with ovarian cancer advocacy?

Grace Elizabeth (GE): My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2018. She had been misdiagnosed and brushed off multiple times by her doctors. The experience made it very apparent that there was not enough research, funding, or discussion around ovarian cancer. Neither of us were aware of the symptoms, which she had a majority of. Watching her undergo surgeries and countless treatments and seeing her fight for her life and fight for her family created a purpose for me. I wanted to fight as hard as her, fight for her, so I did so in the only way I knew how: be impactful and seen. I turned to my platform to advocate for ovarian cancer. 

NOCC: How did your unique brand of advocacy come about?

GE: I’m a fashion model who works with brands worldwide. By doing so, I’ve gained a good bit of followers on social media, most of which are women. This gave me an opportunity to spread the message on a global level. 

NOCC: What advice would you give to someone interested in spreading awareness in their community but may not know where to start?

GE: There is so much you can do – you can even start from your couch! Post signs and symptoms flyers on social media, and share stories from fighters & survivors. There are also a number of walks and special events to raise funding and awareness for ovarian cancer throughout the country. Contact your hometown events coordinator and ask if you can turn the town teal. Go to your local businesses and ask if you can leave flyers of the signs & symptoms of ovarian cancer in their establishment. Contact an organization directly and ask them how you can make an impact!

On the NOCC’s website, you can download free tools and resources to share on social media, in person, and everywhere in between! It can start with a click of a button and escalate to something on an even larger scale. From here on out, I’m passing the TEAL torch to you!

Grace Elizabeth

Hailing from Florida, Grace Elizabeth is one of the most notable American models of the current era. After a significant appearance for Miu Miu for her debut runway season in 2016, she immediately became one of the most sought-after talents by top photographers like Steven Meisel, landing covers for numerous editions of Vogue, V Magazine, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. She also fronted campaigns for Chanel, Etro, Max Mara, Michael Kors, Versace, and many more. Simultaneously, she became the primary spokesmodel for Victoria’s Secret’s PINK line, and landed one of the most coveted industry accolades – a beauty contract with Estee Lauder in 2018 that remains ongoing. Today, Grace Elizabeth continues to show command both on and off the runway, maintaining her in-demand status with rare longevity. She also puts in great effort towards the fight against ovarian cancer, a disease that has afflicted her family in recent years. Grace can be found on Instagram.

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Stages of Ovarian Cancer

Before ovarian cancer - healthy ovaries

Stage 1 - Cancer is confined to one or both ovaries

Stage 2 - Cancer spreads within the pelvic region

Stage 3 - Average stage of diagnoses is stage 3C; cancer spreads to other body parts within the abdomen

Stage 4 - Cancer spreads beyond the abdomen to other body parts


National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

Stages of Ovarian Cancer

Stage 1

The cancer is confined to the ovary or fallopian tube

1A - The cancer is confined to one ovary only

1B - The cancer is found on both ovaries

1C - One or both ovaries are found with cancer cells spilling out from the ovaries

1C1 - Accidental rupture of the capsule by the surgeon during surgery

1C2 - Rupture of the capsule occurred before surgery

1C3 - Cancer cells are found in the fluid of the pelvis/abdomen

Stage 2

Growth of the cancer involves one or both ovaries with pelvic extension

2A - Extension of cancer to fallopian tubes or uterus

2B - Extension of cancer to other pelvic organs

Stage 3

Growth of the cancer involves one or both ovaries, and the cancer has spread beyond the pelvis

3A - Microscopic cancer cells found in upper abdomen or lymph nodes

3B - Visible tumor found in upper abdomen less than 2cm in size

3C - Visible tumor found in upper abdomen greater than 2cm in size, including disease on the surface of liver or spleen

Stage 4

The cancer growth is widely spread throughout the body

4A - Cancer is found in the fluid around lung

4B - Cancer is found inside the lungs, liver or spleen

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

30 Years of Courage


NOCC begins as a grassroots organization founded by advocates and survivors in Boca Raton, Florida


NOCC incorporates as the country’s first national organization providing awareness and education about ovarian cancer.


The first national ovarian cancer information hotline is established (1-888-OVARIAN), now averaging 10,000 calls each year.


NOCC proclaims a week in September “National Ovarian Cancer Week,” with a declaration from President Clinton. “Walk for a Whisper” 5K Walk/Run is initiated.


NOCC and the ovarian community proclaim September as “National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.”


The organization produces television PSA about early detection and distributes to 30 states.

2003 received the Award from OncoLink, the first online cancer resource founded by University of Pennsylvania cancer specialists.

NOCC receives the National Points of Light award in celebration of the success and impact volunteers have made in their communities.


NOCC launches “Body Image/Body Essence” art exhibit by sculptor John Magnan as a tribute to his wife’s journey with ovarian cancer.


NOCC launches the “Break the Silence” national education campaign.


The “Break the Silence” campaign reaches 100M impressions.

NOCC helps launch the first consensus on ovarian cancer symptoms.


NOCC moves its principal place of operation and state of incorporation/registration from Boca Raton, Florida to Dallas, Texas.

NOCC advocates help to double Department of Defense funding for ovarian cancer research to $20M per year.


“Newly Diagnosed Patient Kit” is launched. DVD resource is made available in Spanish and Mandarin; 450,000+ pieces of literature are distributed nationwide.


The Faces of Hope® program and term “Run/Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer” are initiated. 

Annual fundraising events are branded “Run/Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer®.”


NOCC partners with The Dr. Oz Show to create his Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer® campaign.

Over 1200 newly diagnosed women receive NOCC’s TEAL PACKET®

The “Ann Schreiber Ovarian Cancer Research Training Program of Excellence: A study by Dr. Ruth Perets” is supported by NOCC with a $50,000 contribution.


NOCC supports quality of life research with the GOG 0225, LIvES Study, which is ongoing and conducted by the University of Arizona Cancer Center.


More than 4,000 Faces of Hope TEAL totes are distributed.


More than 575,000 pieces of education and awareness literature are distributed nationally.

NOCC affirms its commitment to research with the newest  initiative, collaborating with Stand Up to Cancer, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, and Ovarian Cancer Research Fund to support the “Ovarian Cancer Dream Team.”

NOCC is featured in the highly coveted showcase window at 10 Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan.


NOCC reaches its milestone 25th anniversary.

NOCC becomes an official charity partner for the New York Marathon and launches its first platform for endurance enthusiasts across the U.S - Team Teal®.


Rejuvenate, the first event of its kind, is introduced by NOCC for survivors as a retreat experience centered around the mind, body and spirit; it later expands to a national series.

Not Knowing is Killing Us is launched as a hard-hitting national awareness campaign. 


NOCC's signature Run/Walk Series is rebranded and Together in Teal® Ending Ovarian Cancer is brought to life in communities across the nation.  


Team Teal®, NOCC's endurance platform, expands internationally with participants in Greece and Canada.  

Together in Teal® Ending Ovarian Cancer is hosted at New York City's Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, a national historic landmark.


In response to the pandemic, NOCC introduces programming offering relief to women and their caregivers including home meal delivery, Comfort for the Soul, and online professional counseling through Comfort the Mind.  

Teal Hearts Network, a series of regional survivor support groups, commences in a virtual setting.

Together in Teal(R) hosts its first virtual experience, No Boundaries, and unites participants in 50 states and 9 countries.  

Signs and Symptoms

Ovarian cancer signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Back pain
  • Upset stomach or heartburn
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation or menstrual changes
  • Pain during sex