MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This week, our set is decked out in teal ornaments and ribbons to celebrate the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance. It’s known as MOCA for short.
A new group within the organization started to form this year. It’s a support group for men who are caring for, or grieving the loss of, an ovarian cancer patient. It’s called the Men of MOCA.
John Wetzel and John Devereaux share more than the same first name.
“Yeah, we’re in a club nobody wants to be in,” Devereaux said.
They share the experience of becoming widowers, after ovarian cancer took the lives of their wives. They’re the co-founders of Men of MOCA.
“And it’s not just husbands and partners. It could be sons, fathers. It could be brothers. It could be uncles of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer,” Wetzel said.
Wetzel lost his wife Joy in 2014. When she got her ovarian cancer diagnosis, the disease was already in stage 4. But Joy lived for 13 and a half more years.
“Nothing could keep her down,” Wetzel said. “It was after she passed that I realized I need to reach out to other people. I think the main thing is that men really keep it to themselves.”
Deveveaux lost his wife Laura in 2006. She died three years after her diagnosis.
“What we had to learn was if people want to help, let them,” Deveveaux said. “I think dudes are dudes, and it’s very John Wayne-like with feelings. There’s no crying in baseball.”
Both men hope Men of MOCA will create opportunities for guys to talk about their feelings and learn from one another.