Ovarian Cancer Research and Awareness Remain a Focus at Cedars-Sinai

Two Cedars-Sinai programs, Research for Her and Run for Her® 5K Run and Friendship Walk, Boost Women's Cancer Research and Education

Los Angeles - Oct. 8, 2013 – Julie Miller is a key part of an extensive effort at Cedars-Sinai to increase awareness of and support for women's cancer research. She not only has registered to participate in clinical research, but she's also lacing up her running shoes.

Miller, who lives in Westwood, Calif., is a participant in both Research for Her and the Run for Her® 5K Run and Friendship Walk.

Miller's journey started more than four years ago when she made an appointment with Ora Karp Gordon, MD, director of the Cedars-Sinai GenRISK Adult Genetics Program, to learn if she may be a carrier of the BRCA gene, a genetic mutation that greatly increased her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. With a long lineage of family members diagnosed with these cancers, the odds were stacked against her, and Miller soon learned that she too was a carrier.

With this knowledge, Miller made a proactive decision to dramatically lessen her chances of developing cancer by undergoing prophylactic surgeries to remove her breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes. Her experience prompted Miller to become an advocate for not only herself, but women’s cancer research and awareness.

This commitment also led Miller to participate in the new Research for Her program at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. The program is aimed at increasing women's representation in medical research and intended to help scientists understand how cancers develop and how treatments affect people.

Research for Her is the research arm of a Cedars-Sinai commitment to increasing treatment options and public awareness of women's cancers. Research for Her is supported by Run for Her, the annual 5K run and friendship walk.

In 2005, the inaugural Run for Her event took place in a Cedars-Sinai parking lot with 700 people. Since then, thousands of individuals have joined the cause to help increase ovarian cancer awareness. Miller will be participating in this year's event Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013.

Run for Her began when Kelli Sargent created a marketing and operations plan for an ovarian cancer 5k run/walk for her master's degree thesis. She later partnered with the Cedars-Sinai Women's Cancer Program at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute to create the event. Sargent's passion for the event stemmed from her mother's eight-year battle with ovarian cancer, a battle she lost in 2008.

"Run for Her supports more than vital funds for ovarian cancer research and awareness," Sargent said. "It provides an outlet for people to share their experiences, cry and laugh. It's a day to remember the loved ones we lost to this disease and continue fighting for those whose battle continues."

Both research-driven programs are providing women an empowering opportunity to change the landscape of women’s cancer.

Join Julie Miller, Kelli Sargent and thousands of others by registering for Run for Her. The event kicks off Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. PST at Pan Pacific Park, 7600 Beverly Blvd. The USA Track & Field-certified course heads west on Third Street to Cedars-Sinai and loops back to Pan Pacific Park and the Finish Line Festival featuring music, prizes, T-shirts, goodie bags and giveaways.

To register for Run for Her please visit www.runforher.com or call (323) 866-6410.