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Happy Brunch Week!

Happy Survivors’ Brunch Week!!! We were so sad to have to transition our brunch to an online format this year, but thought it was in the best interest of our survivors and their families. This week, you will see inspirational survivor stories, messages from our staff and board, and resources from our community partners throughout the state. I am honored to kick off the week, so here we go!


Hi! My name is Ashley and I serve as the Executive Director at the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance. I started with WOCA in 2013 after losing my mom to pancreatic cancer a few months prior. I knew I wanted to help people who had been through a similar journey as my family, but had no idea where to start. Founders Sandi and Kelli gave me the opportunity of a lifetime… turning my families grief into my life’s passion, and I could never thank them enough for.


As I was celebrating my 7 year anniversary with the organization this spring, I thought back as to how far WOCA has come throughout the years. We have expanded throughout the state and created several new programs to meet the demands the community was asking for. I have met so many incredible women. As we know, this disease takes far too many loved ones from our lives. Their memories live on through our mission, and that is our motivation every day.


When I am not at any and all things WOCA related, I can be found watching bad reality television. It is my weakness, judge away! My fiancée Steven and I anxiously await the arrival of our first child, a little girl named M.J. (Margaret James – after my mom of course). She is scheduled to arrival in September - no better timing than Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month! Unfortunately, we were of those affected by the pandemic and our April 3rd wedding was postponed. We took it as a grain of salt as we are happy and healthy and this is all that matters! But, if you see Ashley Wagner turn into Ashley Schneider, you know why!


We are cannot wait to see everyone in 2021! The survivors’ brunch is my favorite event of the year. I love seeing all of our beautiful survivors and their caregivers supporting each other during a time that no one else understands unless they have gone through the journey themselves. Until then, enjoy the content posted this week and please post pictures.

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Diane R Brys
Diane R Brys
Jun 01, 2020

It's so good to hear from you, Ashley, and Happy Virtual Brunch Week to you and Jennifer! I agree with Joan that WOCA is so great with you as our leader. I wish the times were better, but we will keep supporting WOCA in any way that we can. Unfortunately, I have found out that another colleague of mine from Hawthorne has been diagnosed with Stage 4C Ovarian Cancer during the pandemic. That makes 5 of us from that school! I told her about WOCA and about our Fried Eggs Club and she is looking forward to a time when she can join both.

Please take care of yourself, of Steve, and of sweet baby-to-come M.J.!! I can't wait t…

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Unknown member
Jun 01, 2020

Ashley! This is the first I'm hearing about your engagement and pregnancy! Congrats on it all. What an exciting time for you and you fiance! Enjoy it all, no matter what the world wants to throw at you! We cancer survivors have learned that lesson for sure. I hope I speak for many of the members, but Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer is better with you! You are energetic and approachable and we love you very much.

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