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My journey as a writer began as a child. I wrote poems and short stories which were my way of dealing with various life changing events. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club. Follow me on Twitter @KIngallsAuthor www.facebook.com/KarenIngalls, and you can find my books at www.amazon.com. My first book is Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir which received two awards. All proceeds are donated to gynecologic cancer research. My second book is a novel Novy's Son, about one man's attempt to find love and acceptance from his father. This is an all too common problem in our society. My third book, Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is about the love affair between this great American sculptor and his model. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2017.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

THE FIGHTER: BONNIE DONIHI


Before July 28, 1995, Bonnie and Tim Donihi would take morning walks, discuss the world’s problems and fantasize what they’d do with their time once they retired. Those dreams were put on hold 18 years ago when after a standard hysterectomy, the 47-year-old Bonnie was told she had ovarian cancer. Within 3 months of the diagnosis, the cancer was in 5 locations. The chemotherapy left her exhausted and dehydrated from the constant vomiting caused by her treatment. In January 1996, she was comatose for 10 days from dehydration. Tim and her three grown children were terrified.

But Bonnie is a fighter and wasn’t ready to die. She spent 2 more months on chemotherapy and then in March 1996, she was declared cancer-free.

Now her plans of a simple life were changed into a mission to positively affect others’ lives. She joined the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance in Washington, DC, where women from across the nation had a mission to spread the word about ovarian cancer, and advocate for more research, legislation, and education.

In November 1997, Bonnie did the same thing in the Orlando area where with a group of women, who were both friends and survivors, started the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Florida (OCAF). This local organization is now embracing a new name, Women & Girls’ Cancer Alliance, and has an expanded mission. A long-time advocate for women and girls’ gynecologic health, the organization has added as a part of its ongoing mission, breast cancer, because of its connection to gynecologic cancers.


The Women’s and Girls’ Cancer Alliance (WGCA) is the only organization in Central Florida that promotes and advocates for good gynecological health for both women and girls. Here are just a fews of their many programs:

**The Nurse’s Educational Initiative is a program facilitated by WGCA in partnership with nursing schools with the goal of reaching all nursing and medical career classrooms in Florida in order to make an impact in the way students view, and care for, patients with female cancers.

**Florida Ovarian Cancer Alliance Speaks (FOCAS) is a coalition of gynecological cancer groups throughout Florida mentored by WGCA. The group meets to share best practices and to present a united front for gynecological cancer issues including state funding for research, education, legislation and awareness.

**WGCA Speakers Bureau caters to those interested in learning about WGCA, gynecologic cancers, and breast cancer by providing preventative resources to at least 13,000 people a year for women and girls in our community.

**Through fundraisers and individual support, WGCA has been able to secure more than $100,000 in funding for Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, UF Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health and UCF School of Nursing.

**Lowke’s Lunch Bunch is a social Dutch treat lunch for survivors, their spouses, family and friends. This group meets monthly to share journeys, laughter, conversation, and to give support to one another.

Bonnie has had two recurrences of ovarian cancer, but she is always the fighter and isn’t going anywhere. She makes sure everyone she meets knows at least one fact about ovarian cancer they hadn’t heard before. It’s her life’s mission to make fighting ovarian and other gynecological cancers a part of every person’s life. She wants each of us to know that any wife, mother, aunt, daughter, or girlfriend could be diagnosed with a gynecologic or breast cancer.



 Contact Bonnie at bonnie@wgcancer.org. She will be glad to answer any questions, welcome your interest in volunteering, or any contributions. 

My thanks to Bonnie for writing this guest blog and her tireless work in spreading the word about gynecologic cancers.

4 comments:

Kathryn Treat said...

Thank you for sharing Bonnie's story. What a true survivor!

Karen Ingalls said...

She has accomplished so much for the good of so many. She is a brave woman who does not let her recurrences get her down. I am proud to call her a friend.

Ruthie Snyder said...

Bonnie Donihi has been an inspiration to those of us inside the Ovarian Cancer community, and many, many other people and places during her journey. Thank you Bonnie for your courage and determination, helping women and girls to know the symptoms and have hope.

Karen Ingalls said...

Her hard work and dedication is appreciated by many. She is a great role model and I am honored to call her a friend.