Dialog Box

Our Consumer Representative Panel

Our Consumer Representative Panel (CRP) brings together those affected by ovarian cancer to offer advice and recommendations from a consumer perspective to the Committee of Management and the OCRF Team. Our CRP members offer unique and valuable insights into how research is designed, conducted and translated and help to ensure high research quality and relevance to those most affected by the disease. The CRP also supports the translation of our research impact to the broader community.

Ms Anne-Marie O'Loghlin

Consumer Representative Panel Chairperson

Committee of Management Member

Dr Francine Marques

Medical Researcher, Chemo and Beauty Blogger, Ovarian Cancer Survivor

Dr Marques is a Melbourne medical researcher who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015, at the age of just 31. “I used to exercise regularly and I did not smoke, neither was I overweight. I didn’t know I had some of the symptoms, including pelvic pain and frequent urination. Other common symptoms include abdominal bloating, loss of appetite or feeling full quickly, change in bowel habits, menstrual irregularities and lack of energy. To my surprise, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer’’. Dr Marques has spoken at length about her own experience hoping to help other women have the best chance of staying healthy.

Ms Kel Pittman

OCRF Ambassador, Ovarian Cancer Patient

Kel was 43 years old when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer in 2014.  After undergoing immediate treatment and being declared in remission, Kel unfortunately suffered a relapse in September 2017. She completed her follow-up chemotherapy in August of last year and will commence her next round of treatment later this year. Her focus is now on managing the disease for life, and supporting the research that will ensure her daughter won’t face the same threats in her adult life. 

Read her story

Daniella Brasacchio

OCRF Ambassador

Daniella splits her time between motherhood, Monash University in the Blood Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory as a research scientist and engaging in community awareness about Breast and Ovarian Cancers.  Daniella lost her mother to ovarian cancer at the very young age of 59. Unfortunately, at the time of her mother’s diagnosis, Daniella found out that her family carries a BRCA1 mutation. This dramatically increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer to 80% and ovarian cancer to 40%. Daniella found out at 28 years of age that she too carries this gene mutation. Her mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at a very late stage as she was predominantly asymptomatic before eventually being diagnosed her with stage 4 ovarian cancer. During the following 12 months it spread to her mother’s brain and liver. After witnessing her mother’s experience Daniella was anxious about her own health, realising that not only does she have an increased risk of ovarian cancer but there is no early detection for this disease. Considering the lack of early detection, she made the drastic decision to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes at the young age of 39. The ongoing early menopause is a daily challenge, yet far better than dealing with a cancer that is known for taking the lives of young women far too early. She encourages women to be pro-active about their health, challenge their medical team if they are concerned with their results and trust their instinct when it comes to their body. 

Jordan Turner

OCRF Ambassador

Jordan was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in December 2019 at 27 years old. She was quickly treated with surgery and chemotherapy and is currently in remission. As an ovarian cancer patient, Jordan is looking forward to being able to use her personal experience to advocate on behalf of the OCRF, raising awareness of the disease, and the fact that there are critical funding shortages for research into early detection tests and treatments.

Vali Creus

OCRF Ambassador, Ovarian Cancer Survivor

Vali was 16 when she first started experiencing strange and vague symptoms; it wasn't until surgery for endometriosis at 19 that Vali was diagnosed with ovarian cancer during a routine operation for endometriosis. Vali then had a recurrence at 24 which rendered her infertile after surgery and chemotherapy. Due to amazing advancements in treatment Vali was able to become a mother to twin girls in 2013, Vali has now been dealing with ovarian cancer for over half her life and is passionate about research and preventing her friends, family and most importantly her daughters from having to live through the same struggle she has faced.

Jemima Leydon

OCRF Ambassador, Ovarian Cancer Survivor

Jemima was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006 at the age of five. This diagnosis came completely by fluke after her mother felt a lump on her stomach following days of complaints about a stomach-ache. On the same day she was diagnosed, Jemima underwent emergency surgery to remove the tumour and her right ovary before having four rounds of chemotherapy over the next four months. Jemima feels fortunate to have been ovarian cancer free for almost 16 years and began working with the Ovarian Research Foundation in 2018. She is grateful for the connections she has formed and is passionate about using her experience to support the OCRF in their quest to develop an early detection test and effective treatments for ovarian cancer.

Sirin Steele

OCRF Ambassador, Ovarian Cancer Survivor

Sirin Steele was diagnosed in 2016 with ovarian cancer after thinking she might be pregnant again. What was supposed to be a visit to the GP during a work lunch break for a pregnancy test resulted in a diagnosis that would change her life. She found herself having surgery within a week of diagnosis and underwent five months of chemotherapy. In the months that followed her treatment Sirin had to navigate her way to a “new normal” as the treatment and surgeries she endured became apparent. The disheartening fact that there is no early detection test or accurate screening method spurred Sirin to use her skills to raise awareness for ovarian cancer research. To give back to her incredible community, Sirin founded AusLitTeal, the official national campaign that lights up major landmarks and skylines to mark World Ovarian Cancer Day on May 8th each year.

We're giving hope to women like Kel

“I don’t want my daughter to fear this. A test for ovarian cancer isn’t going to save my life, but it might just save hers or one of her friends."
- Kel Pittman, OCRF Ambassador, Ovarian Cancer Patient

Read Kel's story Hear more from our community