Cancer survivor honored for efforts of behalf of community

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Felida — In 2002, Diane O’Connor became a survivor. That year, at 57, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In July 2011, she received the Cindy Melancon Spirit of Survivorship Award for her exemplary service and support to the ovarian cancer community. O’Connor was nominated by women in the two support groups in which she is involved. When O’Connor learned she had cancer, she had recently retired from a 32-year career with Vancouver Public Schools. She was a counselor at Fort Vancouver and Columbia River high schools. Since then, she has become an educator and supporter of women with ovarian cancer. In 2005, she and a friend, Diane Elizando, co-founded the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and Southwest Washington, a partner member of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. This year, O’Connor attended her 10th Ovarian Cancer National Alliance Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. She said she never dreamed she would live this long.