Every fundraiser luncheon, cocktail party and gala is important, but sometimes an organization’s message and the meaning behind it reaches out and grabs the hearts and attention of those attending. Judy’s Mission, an organization that works to raise awareness about ovarian cancer and its symptoms, did just that at its annual luncheon, through shared stories of loss, medical research, and ultimately, hope.
Deemed “Mission Possible” the luncheon at The Houstonian drew a record-setting crowd of 400 people, many of whom have been touched by ovarian cancer in some way. The Judy’s Mission event was chaired by husband and wife team Michelle Phillips and David Peck and it holds special meaning for them.
Phillips relayed the journey they traveled with her mother Mikki Phillips, who diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer a few weeks before the couple’s 2007 wedding. She shared how her mother tried different treatments as she struggled with the disease and even revealed a less-than-appetizing mushroom soup Peck made for her mother during treatment. Mikki Phillips passed away in 2010, and both Phillips and Peck are passionate about elevating the conversation surrounding ovarian cancer and research.
Guest speaker Susan Baker, a family friend of Phillips and Peck, also shared her story of ovarian cancer diagnosis and recovery, reminding the crowd the importance of sleep, a healthy diet and a healthy spirit.
“Life is full of challenges, and when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer I was sad, scared and angry,” Baker said. “Be mindful in the importance of daily choices. A healthy diet, getting a good night’s sleep are important. Your to-do list can wait.”
Cindy Winton, board president and honorary chair along with host committee chairs Jill Reno Simpson and Geoffrey Simpson, were also part of the emotional event that raised more than $160,000.
Early detection was a a major takeaway from the luncheon, with the reminder that 93 percent of women survive ovarian caner for five years or more when diagnosed early. Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation was inspired by Judith Liebenthal Robinson, a NASA scientist who was diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer and passed away in 2010.
Seen in the crowd: Klinka Lollar, Julie Phillips, Regina Rogers, Carroll Ray, Amy Pierce, Kristina Somerville, Eleanor Gilbane, Nellie Connally, Jennifer LaPorte, Peggy Barnett, Carolyn Dorros, Marjorie Hutcheson, Bailey Dalton-Binion, Trang and Alan Cormack and Gigi Shapiro.