Susan's Story

“This was my plan. It was early February 2012 and my work on the Houston marathon Olympic Trials committee had finished. I was feeling proud of my accomplishments and was now ready to shift my focus to decorating our new home, traveling, and just playing for a while. What a lucky girl, I thought! I was on top of the world and almost giddy with excitement.

Two weeks later, on Valentine’s Day, my husband, Gary, and I were sitting in an oncologist’s office hearing the words “it appears you have ovarian cancer.” I recall saying, “seriously? Could you be wrong? I am fine. All I have is this little tummy that makes it hard to fit into my skinny jeans!” The next day, I was being examined by a gynecological surgeon from MD Anderson Cancer Center, and hearing “you are a classic case.” Apparently meaning I had vague symptoms that often look like those of other conditions. I kept trying to get the doctors to understand there must be a mistake. After all, I’d had a clear pap smear six months prior, a clear colonoscopy and normal blood work that year as well. And that’s when I discovered, after 61 years, that there is no test to detect OVC. So, here I was, physically fit, no other health issues, yet I had stage 3 ovarian cancer.

I looked at my daughter, stepdaughter, daughter-in-law AND all my girlfriends/sisters and said “there’s no way this can happen to them.” A test must be found.

This was certainly not my original plan. Yet life presents itself to us and we make of it what we will. The Susan Poorman Blackie Ovarian Cancer Foundation (or SPB4OVC as we like to call it) was formed with every ounce of my passion and desire to make a difference in the ovarian cancer movement. I have no doubt we will succeed.”


Susan died of ovarian cancer in 2014. Her passion, desire to make a difference, and belief in healing continue to inspire our work.