Beginning its fifth year, Newk's Cares—the ovarian cancer awareness movement founded by fast casual Newk's Eatery— is spearheading efforts to fight for the one in 78 women who will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime, in honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September.
Newk's Cares is the philanthropic arm of Newk's Eatery, established in 2014 by Newk's Eatery CEO, Chris Newcomb, and his wife Lori Newcomb. Lori was diagnosed with stage IIIC ovarian cancer in 2013, which inspired her to establish Newk's Cares as a way of giving back to an important cause that has personally impacted the Newk's family. To date, Newk's Cares has raised more than $720,000 for ovarian cancer research through the organization's partnership with Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA), the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families.
"I hope to use the Newk's Cares platform to inspire women to communicate how they are feeling and put their health first, as they do with the loved ones most important to them," says Lori Newcomb, Newk's Cares cofounder and ovarian cancer survivor. "I believe women should listen to what their bodies are telling them to truly take care of themselves, and to find a doctor who will also listen to them and their symptoms. Even though the symptoms may be vague, your body is trying to tell you something. Early detection is the key to incrementally increasing the survival rate."
To kick off Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Newk's Cares is hosting the following events for the Jackson, Mississippi, community, where Newk's calls home.
Newk's Cares and St. Dominic Hospital are again joining efforts to raise critical awareness and support of ovarian cancer prevention and treatment. A free Lunch & Learn event will be held on Thursday, August 16 at noon at Sparkman Auditorium on the campus of the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum. Lori Newcomb, along with St. Dominic's gynecologic oncologists, and ovarian cancer survivors will share their stories, and guests will also hear from Dr. Katherine Fuh, an assistant professor in the division of gynecologic oncology at Washington University in St. Louis, regarding her latest research. Dr. Fuh's research on the inhibition of metastasis in BRCA2–associated ovarian cancers is funded by a grant from OCRFA made possible by a donation from Newk's Cares. Attendees can pre-register for the lunch and submit questions to the panel by emailing NewksCares@Newks.com. This event is free and open to the public.
The community is invited to aid in the fight against ovarian cancer by participating in Ovarian Cycle Jackson, an annual outdoor spin event that will be held at The Club at The Township in Ridgeland on Thursday, September 20. Riders can participate in one of five 45-minute time slots every hour from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is a $50 registration fee to ride and ovarian cancer survivors ride for free.
The following initiatives will take place across all Newk's Eatery's 121 locations to raise awareness of the cause:
Beginning August 20 through the month of September, Newk's iconic collectible black cups will turn teal, the color of Ovarian Cancer Awareness. Guests will have the option to make a donation in support of ovarian cancer research and education both in-store and through online ordering. All funds collected between September 3 and 30 will be donated to OCRFA.
Available during the month of September, Newk's is introducing a new seasonal Thai Chicken soup that features numerous cancer-fighting ingredients including mushrooms, carrots, turmeric, garlic, and green and red bell peppers, which contain antioxidants that can help reduce the risks of cancer. This soup will remain in all Newk's Eatery locations through March 2019.
Newk's Cares will feature the brave faces of ovarian cancer survivors and their stories throughout the month of September.