JACKSON, Miss. - Celebrating its fifth year fighting for women battling ovarian cancer, Newk's Cares - the ovarian cancer awareness movement spearheaded by Newk's Eatery - raised over $258,000 for research of the disease. Newk's is passionate about its philanthropy, with a goal to improve the rate of early diagnosis by promoting early detection through symptom awareness and funding research - more than $970,000 for Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance - the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research.
During the month of September, Newk's Eatery's iconic collectible cups turned teal, the color of Ovarian Cancer Awareness. Guests were able to donate in support of ovarian cancer research and education both in-store and through online ordering, as well as through the annual Ovarian Cycle® Jackson spin celebration held in its home base of Jackson. The event had an incredible response, recruiting more than 170 riders who joined in the fight.
This past August, Newk's Cares also organized a Lunch & Learn event in Jackson, Miss. in partnership with St. Dominic Hospital to raise awareness and support of ovarian cancer prevention and treatment. Newk's restaurants also launched a limited time Thai Chicken Soup available through March 2019, which includes numerous cancer-fighting ingredients such as mushrooms, bell peppers, garlic, and turmeric, and is safe for those undergoing cancer treatment.
Along with Newk's Cares' seasonal efforts, Newk's has made a commitment to prioritize awareness of ovarian cancer in its 125 locations year-round. The restaurant has permanently replaced traditional red straws with teal straws, and donates 10 cents from every Newk's Cares water bottle sold to OCRA.
All restaurant locations also share the story of Co-founder Lori Newcomb, wife of Newk's Eatery CEO Chris Newcomb, and her diagnosis, including symptoms that easily go undetected to aid in the mission to raise critical awareness.
"After little to no warning signs, I was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer in 2013," said Lori Newcomb. "Time had passed, and it took until I knew something was drastically wrong to listen to my body. Early warning signs are often missed or thought to be normal aches. I want women everywhere to be aware of the symptoms, so if they are having any warning signs, they will go to the doctor and take care of their bodies right away, since early detection and treatment increases the survival rate to more than 92 percent."
The diagnosis inspired Lori and Chris to establish Newk's Cares in 2014 as a way of giving back to an important cause that has personally impacted the Newk's family. Newk's Cares has since grown from a kitchen table idea to a national campaign in partnership with OCRA. Despite the 200,000 women currently living with ovarian cancer in the U.S., it receives among the least financial support of any form of gynecological or breast cancer. There is more work to be done, and with support from the community, Newk's Cares is confident every woman can be given a fighting chance.
"We're proud to continue to use our platform through Newk's Cares to fund the work of leading ovarian cancer researchers, and bring more light to this disease," said Chris Newcomb. "We have a mission to educate women everywhere about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, and to start a conversation that has life-saving potential."