Trees of Hope and MOCA: Koren’s story

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She’s an 8th grader at Marshall. A fan of sharks. And now, a survivor of ovarian cancer. Koren Sjelin is taking this all in stride.

About a year ago, she had some cramping that wouldn’t go away. Doctors didn’t know at the time what it was, until a CT scan showed a large lump on her ovary. The diagnosis was a rare form of ovarian cancer.

“Everyone thinks it’s an old person thing. But it’s not,” Koren told us.

It meant chemotherapy, surgery, and stem cell harvesting. Along the way, help from the Child Life Specialists at Essentia Health.

The type of ovarian cancer she has lead her family to get genetic testing. Her mother tested positive, and one of her little sisters, so they took steps to prevent ovarian cancer from showing up later in their lives.

MOCA, the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance, sent Koren a backpack. She takes it to school. “It’s really cool,” she told us.

She has this point to make, about your health, no matter your age. “It’s really important, if something doesn’t feel right, that you should tell somebody.”

To learn more about MOCA:

Donate to MOCA during our Trees of Hope phone banks at 5, 6, and 10pm on Tuesday. And MOCA’s Board is matching donations up to $20,000!