Richard & Sharon Laurell
Parents of our Late Founder
Our introduction to
mucinous ovarian cancer came in the fall of 2019 when our beloved, youngest
daughter, Rhonda, had her annual physical. Abnormal lab results seemed to indicate
a problem with her colon. Further testing and biopsies soon lead to a diagnosis
of this rare, aggressive form of ovarian cancer.
Over the next year,
Rhonda suffered through an unsuccessful surgery, as well as repeated hospital
admissions for infections, blood clots, and low white cell count. She underwent
two aggressive courses of chemotherapy, neither of which were successful in
reducing the tumor.
Rhonda handled this
ordeal with her trademark courage and grace. She empathized with the struggles other
women were going through. At the cancer center, Rhonda observed women who
always seemed to be alone. She noticed some missed treatments because they
lacked the support she always had. Despite her difficult personal battle, Rhonda
would tell us how blessed she felt and became determined to do something to
help these women.
determination and that of our oldest daughter, Shelley, led to the founding of
the Mucinous Ovarian Cancer Coalition. Family and friends joined the fight. Rhonda
started the MOCC Cares packages soon after the launch. She carefully
chose items to include in each of the care packages, and wrote personal notes
of encouragement to go in every box.
The foundation was a
great source of pride for our daughter. We continue to support her work in
hopes of finding a cure, and preventing other families from experiencing the
profound grief caused by having to say good-bye to a loved one far too soon.