Newk’s Cares—Lori’s Story
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
As an active mother of three, Lori Newcomb, co-founder of Newk’s Cares and wife of Chris Newcomb, founder of Newk’s Eatery, had always put her family’s priorities before her own, even when she felt something was wrong. After months of discomfort, Lori finally talked to her doctor during her annual gynecological exam. She outlined her symptoms and went in for special tests. Stage IIIC ovarian cancer was confirmed. Blindsided and heartbroken, Lori immediately chose to fight, but she also chose to help all women and all future women affected by the disease.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are not obvious. You might consider many minor discomforts, such as bloating, lack of energy, and loss of appetite. When ovarian cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the survival rate eclipses the 90 percent mark. However, only 20 percent of all cases are detected at this stage. With no early detection test, vague symptoms are the only warning signs. That’s why Lori launched the Newk’s Cares initiative in 2014. It became her life mission to improve the rate of early diagnosis by funding research and creating greater awareness about the early symptoms of ovarian cancer. Newk’s Cares has raised $2.3 million for the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA), the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families.
Some of Lori’s efforts included:
- Newk’s Cares-themed water bottles in all 110+ Newk’s Eatery restaurants, where $0.10 of each bottle purchase is donated to OCRA
- Hosting an annual Ovarian Cycle® Jackson spin event with proceeds directly benefiting OCRA, as she was an avid cyclist before becoming ill
- Serving as a board member for OCRA
- Helping to establish the OCRA-funded Woman to Woman mentor program at the St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Miss., which unites a current ovarian cancer survivor with a newly diagnosed patient
- Inspiring several menu items at Newk’s Eatery, including the Shrimp & Avocado Salad, which was created with numerous cancer-fighting ingredients
While Lori lost her physical battle with ovarian cancer on February 28, 2019, her mission to help all women and all future women affected by the disease will continue to live on. Everyone at Newk’s Eatery is committed to supporting ovarian cancer research and awareness, and with each community’s support, every woman can have a fighting chance.
The RUN Teal There’s A Cure, a 5K supporting the fight against ovarian cancer and benefitting OCRA, will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at Spring Lake Park in Texarkana, Texas. The run begins at 9 a.m., and pre-registration is from 7:30-8:45 a.m. that morning. You can sign up online HERE or register in person at Newk’s Texarkana, 3001 Mall Drive, Texarkana, Texas. For more information, contact race coordinator Aaron Alsup HERE or call the store at 903-303-2501.