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Women's health advocate succumbs to ovarian cancer

Her Phoenix foundation continues work to detect and treat disease

PHOENIX, Ariz. - May 20, 2009 - Anne Rita Monahan, who used her initials to encourage women to "ARM yourself against ovarian cancer," has died of the disease her foundation sought to erase. She was 47.

Monahan, a Phoenix resident, passed away surrounded by family members and loved ones on May 13. A public memorial service is planned at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 13001 N. 35th Ave., Phoenix. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Anne Rita Monahan Foundation.

Monahan started her foundation in 2007, after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, with the aim of eradicating the disease. Her foundation will continue her efforts to make woman aware of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, to encourage early detection, minimize misdiagnosis and fund research into developing a reliable screening test.

"She fought to bring recognition of the disease that was ravaging her body to other women so that they would avoid her fate. She fought to raise money to fund research to find a screening process so that this 'silent killer' would be easier to detect," according to a statement issued by the ARM Foundation.

Today, May 20, the ARM Foundation will present a check for $20,000 to the non-profit Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), which conducts DNA studies in an effort to find how to better detect and treat ovarian cancer. The funds were raised in February during the foundation's annual Tea For Teal, the color associated with ovarian cancer. The ARM Foundation has raised more than $35,000 towards Monahan's goal of $100,000 for TGen cancer research. Monahan had undergone treatment for her cancer in Scottsdale.

"The tremendous courage shown by Anne Rita Monahan in her valiant struggle with ovarian cancer is an example to all who face adversity. We at TGen are honored to carry on her fight to stop this terrible disease," said Michael Bassoff, President of the TGen Foundation.

Monahan was an honors graduate of Boston College in Business Administration, earned a Masters of Business Administration at Arizona State University, and retired as a small-business counselor with Maricopa County.

She is survived by her parents, Paul M. and Helen M. (Fiola) Monahan of Dedham, Mass.; sisters Helen M. Dion of Clearwater, Fla.; Sheila M. Blanchet of Gilford, Conn.; Cathleen M. Tetreault of Saugerties, N.Y.; Beth P. Nee of Westbrook, Maine; and Jane M. Hallinan of Braintree, Mass. She also is survived by many nieces and nephews.

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About the Anne Rita Monahan Foundation
The Anne Rita Monahan Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, which was established on Sept. 1, 2007. The Foundation's aim is to create awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer in order to encourage early detection and decrease cases of misdiagnosis. In addition, the Foundation raises funds to aid in finding a reliable screening test for this disease. With the mission to eradicate ovarian cancer, the Foundation continues to promote awareness and early detection. For more information on the ARM Foundation, or for information about volunteering or contributing to this important cause, please visit www.anneritamonahan.org or call 602-264-5539.

About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.

Press Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
602-343-8704
[email protected]

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