Virginia Vaughn was diagnosed with stage IIIc ovarian cancer at the age of 43. Finding very little information about her illness, she went online and found the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC). She founded and is President of the Delaware division of the NOCC (DE NOCC). The organization’s mission is to promote education and awareness of ovarian cancer.
Vaughn has been in contact with doctors statewide to promote more awareness and sensitivity to the needs of women with ovarian cancer (newly diagnosed or survivors). DE NOCC serves as a support group for survivors, their families and caregivers. Vaughn regularly speaks to women’s groups about ovarian cancer and distributed information throughout the state via libraries, doctor’s offices, health clinics and churches.
Vaughn arranged for DE NOCC to be a Prevention Partner with the Healthy Delaware 2010 project. Healthy Delaware 2010 is a state-specific plan of Healthy People 2010, a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative. Its goals are to increase the quality and years of healthy life and eliminate health disparities. Vaughn received a Healthy Delaware 2010 Hero Award (in preventive services use) in 2002. She also received one of Delaware Governor Minner’s 2003 Outstanding Volunteer Awards.
Vaughn is also a volunteer with the American Cancer Society of Delaware and assists in advocacy and legislation issues. She wants to work to get more legislation passed in the state, not only for ovarian cancer, but for all forms of cancer. She feels that there is a great need to get better health insurance coverage for cancer patients. Selected as a Community Ambassador for the American Cancer Society (Mid-Atlantic Region), she was one of the representatives for Delaware at Celebration on the Hill in September 2002 in Washington D.C.
For several years, Vaughn was heavily involved with the Delaware Chapter of the National Rehabilitation Association (DRA), including holding the office of Secretary for several years. She was President of the DE Chapter of the National Rehabilitation Secretaries Association and a member of the DE Chapter of the National Rehabilitation Administrators Association. In addition, Vaughn has volunteered at the Mancus Foundation, provided parties for children at Terry Children’s Psychiatric Center and participated in bowl-a-thons to benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Vaughn completes all of her volunteer service in addition to working full time and assisting with caring for her mother, who was paralyzed from the chest down after a robbery attempt several years ago. Although Vaughn faces possible recurrence of her ovarian cancer, she vows to make sure that other women know of this “silent killer” and strives to save as many women’s lives as possible.