O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Contest

Many of you may remember a contest several of us Italy expats had last year to welcome a future expat and pastry chef for her stay in Italy: Gina DePalma. The Dolce Italiano cookbook contest was by far one of the most fun I’ve had doing a contest and I really enjoyed seeing what my fellow bloggers Ilva, Michelle, Shelley and Jenn came up with as we delved into Gina’s cookbook.

In the meantime, Gina received a James Beard Award nomination for her cookbook, and while she was in the States for the ceremony, she discovered a terrible thing: she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

My heart really goes out to her and I’m glad that she was in the States at the time, so she can be surrounded by friends and family during her treatments, which would have been difficult while in Italy. But we would have tried, Gina!!

So since we can’t give her any support in person, we’re doing what bloggers do best: take it to the Internet. Since it’s September and officially Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to do just that: make you aware. Maybe this will encourage you to get that extra test you’ve been avoiding, or to start talking with others about your experience, your hesitations, your lack of knowledge. It is not an easily accessible part of the body, and in my opinion, makes it that much more difficult to understand and get feedback from.

This money raised will not go to Gina, but to an organization that needs it: The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. If you would like to leave a message for Gina on any of our blogs or on the donation form, we’ll forward her all your good thoughts. Or better yet, donate or say it on your own blog by spreading the awareness! We’ve got two little prizes ready to give away (see more info below).

Get well soon, Gina.

To participate, copy the code from this point on: (View – Page Source)

O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of Gina DePalma, author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen and Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy, Jenn of The Leftover Queen, and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are asking you to donate to the:

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (via FirstGiving.org)

and then, out of the goodness of your hearts and to be eligible for the O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Contest, please do the following:

1. Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato) and include this entire text box in the post;


2. If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word about the event and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.


3. Then send your post url [along with a photo (100 x 100) if you’ve made a recipe] to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on September 30, 2008.

We will post a roundup and announce prize winners on October 3.


  • 1 Recipe Prize for best “O food” concoction: $50 gift certificate to Amazon;
  • 1 Awareness Prize for only publicizing event: Copy of Dolce Italiano cookbook.


From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:

  • Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2008 and about 15,520 women will die from the disease.
  • The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
  • In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
  • When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.

Please donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
and help spread the word!

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  1. says

    I already heard about this via Michelle, and I will definitely be participating. I’m so sad to hear about Gina. I’ve had several friends who’ve put ovarian cancer in their past, and I hope the same for Gina.

  2. says


    It’s taken me a very long time to get to this but I just wanted to congratulate all of you for hosting this event. I found out about it in the fall and didn’t have a chance to participate. But it was so worthwhile that I had to mention it at some point and so I did today:


    I’m a big supporter of Gina’s and I think you all did a tremendous job.

    Happy New Year, Sara!

  3. says

    That contest is a Great Idea!!!!!I have also been working for my client’s blog about ovarian cancer awareness and I really like this blog. It helps me to be aware of this dreadful cancer. ….Gina you can make it…I will pray for you!!!

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