Judith Liebenthal Robinson, a NASA scientist, was 57 years old when she first noticed something wasn’t right with her body. Despite regular exercise and a healthy diet, she was gaining weight in her stomach and her body was undergoing inexplicable changes. Her doctor said it was just due to aging. Three years later, Judy passed away from ovarian cancer.
Judy knew she was at greater risk for ovarian cancer because she was of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, was never able to get pregnant and was the daughter of a breast cancer survivor. She asked her doctor several times about screening for ovarian cancer, but was told there was no effective screening test. Because of this, she was not diagnosed with ovarian cancer until after she went to the emergency room with significant abdominal pain. Subsequent testing at MD Anderson Cancer Center revealed that Judy had advanced ovarian cancer.
Before she passed away, Judy expressed her desire to make a difference. She wanted to ensure what happened to her did not happen to any other woman. It was her mission to break the silence.
Our organization is continuing Judy’s mission by funding research to develop a screening for early detection of ovarian cancer before Stage IV, educating women on the symptoms and ultimately finding a cure for the disease.
Watch an inspiring video of Judy’s story and the goals of Judy’s Mission, as told by her friends, colleagues and doctors: