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How does WOCA distribute money?


There are two sources of money distributed by WOCA – while they are different, they are also intertwined.


1. “Teal In Need” provides financial support for the short-term needs of women with ovarian cancer.

What often happens is a woman who is diagnosed with cancer must undergo testing and treatment for her disease right away. Due to the need for this testing and treatment, she faces a loss of income due to needed time away from her job to focus on her medical issues. 

However, in many cases disability and other types of insurance don’t kick until after a 90-day period – if a woman is fortunate enough to have this type of insurance at all (certainly not everyone does!).  Many women who do have insurance find themselves short of funds for bill paying during critical few months after the diagnosis is made.


That’s where WOCA steps in to help and provide money for these immediate needs to offset the loss of income – this includes money for housing, for food, for gas to get to treatments, and more. 


There are no income restrictions for general funds. Women who find themselves diagnosed with ovarian cancer and who need of financial assistance are encouraged to apply.


2. The Connie Rutledge Legacy Fund (CRLF) is a special pool of money, managed by the CRLF Committee and administered by WOCA, which provides financial assistance to women with any type of gynecological cancer. 

Similar to “Teal In Need”, women often find themselves short of cash in the month’s right after a diagnosis is made. CRLF money is available to help women make ends meet and pay essential bills.

The CRLF focuses on women who make an income that is less than (or at) 250% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Women who find themselves diagnosed with any type of gynecological cancer, who need financial assistance and meet the income requirement, are encouraged to apply.




Why did the merger between WOCA and OCCO take place? 
The merger of WOCA and OCCO was decided after many months of discussion as it was determined that a greater amount of good would come from the combining of the two organizations.

The merger will:

  • Bring greater awareness of ovarian cancer throughout Wisconsin.

  • Strengthen the organization’s ability to educate more women across Wisconsin about ovarian cancer.

  • Provide much-needed financial support for women who are fighting ovarian cancer (through “Teal In Need”), as well as all types of gynecological cancers (through the CRLF).

  • Combine WOCA’s strong research dollars and connections to national groups with its established endowment.

  • Support an even wider base of survivors and caregivers throughout state.

  • Combine resources and create more powerful fundraising capabilities with a more compelling messaging platform and vision, as well as a stronger base of established programs and events.

  • Decrease any existing confusion about the differing objectives of these two organizations.

  • Ensure the prolonged sustainability of a new, solid and complete organization so it can better achieve its mission with a broader reach and for a longer time.

  • Bring together two solid organizations, each with great longevity and a solid financial base, and (1) create an even stronger and more financially secure entity and (2) better secure the organization’s strategic outlook and chance for success going into the future.


What is WOCA’s (and the CRLF’s) tax exempt status?
WOCA is a tax-exempt organization pursuant to Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The organization falls under the umbrella and is a working partner of the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance. The Connie Rutledge Legacy Fund will fall under WOCA’s status.

How does a woman make a financial request for aid?

A woman who requests aid will complete an application based on their desired program and needs. After the grant committee reviews and if the request is approved, money will be dispersed from the appropriate pool of money (whether “Teal In Need” or the CRLF).


Are there income restrictions for women looking to apply for financial assistance?

All women with gynecological cancer are encouraged to apply for financial assistance if they need support.


“Teal In Need” directly provide financial support to women with ovarian cancer in the short term. There are no income restrictions for these funds.


The Connie Rutledge Legacy Fund (CRLF) provides financial assistance to women with any type of gynecological cancer. This Fund focuses on women who make an income that is less than (or at) 250% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Are there limits to the amount of aid a woman can receive annually?
While typically a woman may receive a maximum amount of $1,000 per year, special considerations may be made by WOCA as needed.

If needed, women can apply annually for aid, though many women find that a one-time receipt of aid will suffice and help them during their critical time of need soon after diagnosis.

Where else does WOCA money go besides directly to women in need?

The organization also makes donations to Wisconsin-based Research Centers affiliated with National Cancer Research Institute, to provide much-needed ongoing research support so that there may be progress in the prevention and better treatment of ovarian and gynecological cancers.


How else does WOCA support women in need?

WOCA recognizes that cancer is a life changing journey, which should not be traveled alone.  Therefore, we offer a number of different support services.


  • Teal Talks: This is a time for ovarian cancer survivors to connect with other survivors in local areas.

  • Woman to Woman is a unique support program that pairs gynecologic cancer patients with trained survivor volunteers who provide one-on-one emotional support and mentoring to women when they need it most. From the moment of diagnosis through the end of treatment, Woman to Woman survivor volunteers have helped hundreds of women and their families cope with gynecologic cancer. 

  • Camp Mak-A-Dream: This is a week long camp held bi-annually in Montana that’s sole purpose is to connect ladies who are going through the same journey.

  • National Conference Scholarships – Annually, WOCA sends two survivors to the national ovarian cancer conference. This is a time for ladies to gain knowledge about the disease, while finding support from women who are experiencing a similar journey.

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