Trees of Hope: MOCA support when Natalie needed it most

Updated: December 01, 2020 07:37 AM
Created: November 25, 2020 03:36 PM

Natalie Brewster was getting her life back together again, after a battle with sobriety. "I was 37 years old. I had fallen in love. Was spending more time with my kids," she recalled.

But then, came cancer.

"I wasn't feeling right. I was feeling bloated. There were urinary changes," she said. The reason was as mass the size of a melon. 

"Ovarian cancer didn't even cross my mind in the emergency room," she said. But that was the diagnosis.

She made it through one surgery. But then, her tumor markers spiked. And she spun into a deep depression. 

The Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance sent her a MOCA Cares Kit. She didn't open it right away, afraid it would make the diagnosis even more real. But once she did, it brought relief. "There was a handwritten card, and resources, and it made me feel like I belonged."

Since then, she's found the confidence to go to a conference, attend MOCA events, and more. "I did need to see that women and people who had ovarian cancer were living."

Her message for others is about advocating for your own health. When something isn't right, seek help, or a second opinion. "Ovarian cancer can happen at any age."

Her path to getting her strength back is filled with doctor appointments. But her prognosis is good.

And she's got good company. "That's the best part of cancer. The friends you meet. They're life-long."

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