The mission of the HERA Ovarian Cancer Foundation is to eliminate ovarian cancer.  Currently, no effective test exists to reliably diagnose the disease early when the chance for survival is greatest. Available treatment protocols have not appreciably altered mortality from this disease, and incidence rates have decreased only slightly. Clearly, much more work needs to be done. Because there are fewer numbers of well survivors to raise awareness for ovarian cancer, research has been grossly under-funded, and progress has stalled due to lack of adequate research dollars. HERA works to change this by awarding grants, providing public education and staying active on the national advocacy front. The priority is to better understand the disease so that a test for early detection and more effective treatments can be developed.

Science Grants

HERA is committed to funding annual “Outside-The-Box” Grants. These OTB grants are awarded to scientists carrying out cutting edge research dedicated to finding new directions in the prevention, early detection, treatment, and cure of ovarian cancer. By supporting promising M.D’s, Ph.D’s, post-Docs, and other clinical investigators with innovative ideas, HERA seeks to both nurture the new approaches, and retain the talented scientists choosing to make a career of fighting ovarian cancer. The aim of the OTB Grants is to fund research that will produce sufficient data to allow the recipient to apply for larger ASC or NIH grants – with the goal of taking their ideas from the bench to the bedside, and eventually to market.

HERA grants are reviewed by a committee comprised of HERA scientific committee members, advocates, senior scientists, and clinicians. While reviewing the applications we consider:

  • Relevance to Ovarian Cancer/Importance of the problem
  • The originality of Approach, Innovation
  • Feasibility/Methodology
  • Candidate: Research experience and qualifications
  • Environment: Ability to do the proposed work

Applicants may budget the money for salaries or fellows, experimental supplies.

Applicants may not budget the money for indirect costs (per HERA Bylaws), attending meetings, administrative costs, Dean’s Taxes.

Some grants have been awarded for fostering collaborations.

We do not fund chemo-based solutions as we feel there are adequate dollars from pharma and the NCI to explore new directions and drugs in this field.

Applications for the OSB grants are currently by invitation only and are institution specific.  Click here to read about our current and past investigators.

Grant History

Create a link to past grants with three categories; community, Sean P. multi-disciplinary, and videos. Use the text below as headers to list.

Community Grants

HERA provides support for local ovarian cancer groups via program development and through the HERA Community Grants program. These grants are awarded to 501(c)(3) organizations for programs that improve the quality-of-life for women with ovarian cancer or raise awareness about the disease in novel and unusual ways.  Interested grassroots and community organizations are encouraged to apply.

Sean Patrick Multidisciplinary Collaborative Grants

This annual award has provided funding for cross-disciplinary projects that are collaborative in nature. Sean Patrick, for whom this grant was named, was a champion for innovative ovarian cancer research.She believed that therapies with the most potential would be formulated by combining great ideas from different labs and possibly different fields. This grant is in honor of her vision and aims to give scientists the opportunity to put their heads together and test ideas that may not be funded by other agencies.


Strong supporters and research advocates speak out about the value of HERA’s scientific research grants and community awareness grants.

Get involved

Awareness Can Save Lives:  Be Out Loud!

Raising awareness is critical to saving lives. HERA is committed to informing women, the people who love them, and the doctors who care for them, about the symptoms and treatments of ovarian cancer.

A simple email or share on social media of the information below will raise awareness. Ovarian cancer is not a silent killer – make sure all your friends know the symptoms of this disease.

(link to infographic)


Donations allow the HERA Ovarian Cancer Foundation to continue to support cutting edge scientific research and provide much needed public education.  With shrinking research dollars available, our work is increasingly important and your help is critical at this time. Your donation says:

  • One in 75 women being diagnosed with ovarian cancer is too many.
  • Catching only 20% of ovarian cancer diagnosis early is a tragedy.
  • The fact that ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system must change.

Cash Donations

Make a credit card donation or mail your check to:  HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 20791, Boulder, CO 80308.


Gifts can be given in memory or honor of a loved one, a dear friend, or a colleague.  HERA is happy to send a card on your behalf to the appropriate contact of your choice.  Feel free to email us directly,, or click on the Donate Now button above.

Matching Gifts

Many employers provide a matching gift program that can double or even triple your gift. Check with your company’s community or corporate contributions office to find out if this opportunity is available.

Planned Giving

Some donors take advantage of the additional tax savings that can come from bequests, stock donations, a life insurance designation, or from an IRA.  Consider naming the HERA Ovarian Cancer Foundation in your will to receive a bequest. Even a very small bequest will help.  You can also name HERA as a beneficiary, or a secondary beneficiary, in your retirement account.  Learn more about legacy gifts that can have a tremendous impact and help ensure the future of HERA.  Planned giving opportunities to help donors fulfill their philanthropic objectives and diversify HERA’s funding sources.

HERA Circle

You are invited to become a part of the HERA Circle. By committing to monthly donations, you allow us to plan better and use our funds more effectively.

Sean Patrick Empowerment Circle

Sean created HERA to fight ovarian cancer through Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness. She dedicated herself to making a difference in the lives of those affected by this challenging disease. Members of this special giving society honor her life’s work by committing to an annual gift of $1,000 or more. HERA has made great strides in our collective fight against ovarian cancer, and thanks to our SPEC members we proudly continue Sean’s legacy.

HERA gladly accepts monthly payments of $83 per month.

For more information please contact

Want to do more? You can join HERA in the fight to eliminate ovarian cancer

Turn your passion to find a cure for ovarian cancer into action by joining us at a HERA event. Women, men, children and families – all abilities, all ages, all levels- are welcome! Fundraising is easy, and we will help you with everything you need.

Link to events

Host an event

Individuals are encouraged to organize and host community fund-raising events that raise awareness about ovarian cancer in fun, creative ways.  In addition to sporting activities, events range from cross country motorcycle rides to cocktail or birthday parties honoring important women that have touched our lives.  If you would like to plan an event in your community, here are some guidelines to get the process started:

  • If you are currently working on organizing an event, please contact HERA right away to discuss your idea.  We’re here to help you!
  • HERA is happy to offer support and suggestions along the way, as well as provide HERA collateral materials.  If you would like to use our name and/or logo, we ask that you sign a letter of agreement and send us all materials using our name and logo for approval prior to distribution.
  • Only checks made payable to the HERA Ovarian Cancer Foundation may be tax-deductible.
  • If you would like a HERA representative to attend your event, please let us know well in advance.

To get started, please submit your idea to the HERA Ovarian Cancer Foundation and be sure to outline your event as clearly as possible.

Become a HERA Ambassador

HERA Ambassadors are a select group of passionate advocates who represent the HERA Ovarian Cancer Foundation at local events.  After receiving training, Ambassadors increase awareness about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, help with fundraising, and promote the Foundation in their communities. Become a HERA Ambassador by _____. ??


We will never forget the people we have lost to this terrible disease. At our earliest Climb4Life events, participants wrote messages on prayer flags in remembrance of someone they loved.  More recently, climbers carry handwritten messages the top of routes or leave their thoughts on tribute walls.

We invite you to post a tribute here, to honor the memory of someone who has lost their battle with ovarian cancer.

For more information on the meaning of prayer flags click the link below:


Prayer flags are delicate, yet powerful images fluttering in the wind, sometimes gently, sometimes wildly, but always reflecting the surrounding elements, a pairing of light and shadow.  Prayer flags usually come in sets of five colors representing the elements:  blue symbolizes sky/space, white symbolizes air/wind, red symbolizes fire, green symbolizes water, and yellow symbolizes earth. Traditionally, prayer flags promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. They do not carry prayers to gods.  Rather, the Tibetans believe prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread good will and compassion into all pervading space, bringing benefit to all. Prayer flags are often displayed at high elevation.  By hanging flags in high places, the blessings depicted on the flags are carried to all beings.

The prayers of a flag become a permanent part of the universe as the images fade from exposure to the elements. Just as life moves on and is replaced by new life, Tibetans renew their hopes for the world by continually displaying new flags alongside the old. This act symbolizes a welcoming of life’s changes and an acknowledgment that all beings are part of a greater ongoing cycle.