LOS ANGELES - On the very same day, Amy Cohen Epstein lost her mother, Lynne Cohen, to ovarian cancer nearly 23 years ago, Amy and her siblings launched the Lynne Cohen Foundation which has been saving lives ever since.
“We've seen over 10,000 women. We've caught over 10,000 cancers,” says Cohen Epstein, President of the Lynne Cohen Foundation.
The Foundation supports “The Lynne Cohen & Georgia Cord Preventive Care Clinic” at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles.
It serves women who are at high risk for ovarian and/or breast cancers. Think of it as a one-stop-shop for screening, genetic testing, and direct access to a breast or gynecologic oncologist.
Best of all, it's free for underserved and uninsured women.
“Cancer does not care how much money you have in your checking account,” says Cohen Epstein. Since the pandemic began, Dr. Lynda Roman, Co-Director of the Lynne Cohen
Preventive Care Clinic, says she’s seen a troubling trend. “We're actually seeing it in real-time women coming in with advanced cancers who basically put off being seen for months,” says Dr. Roman.
Dr. Roman says the coronavirus has kept women from keeping up with their annual exams and that's a deadly problem. While breast cancer is more common and kills more women annually, ovarian cancer is far deadlier, In 2019, of the 22,000 women diagnosed with it, more than half died.
Dr. Roman says that’s because there is no early detection test.
“Unlike breast cancer, ovarian cancer tends to be diagnosed at a later stage,” says Dr. Roman. In any other year, Amy and I would be on a stage in West Los Angeles, hosting the Lynne Cohen Foundation's biggest fundraiser: the Kickin' Cancer 5k.
This year would have been the 19th annual. Although Covid-19 stopped the event, it's not stopping Amy from honoring her late mother.
“My mom gave it to me to be my job to help as many women as I can. Even if I have to beg at people's feet to give me money to keep doing it, I will,” says Cohen Epstein.
To donate or for more information, log onto kickincancer.com.