MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The dreams of 12 Minnesota women are coming true, and for each of them, it’s a well-deserved twist of luck.

As part of WCCO’s month-long Tree of Hope series, we are showing what the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MOCA) is doing.

Eighty-five percent of women with Stage 4 ovarian cancer pass away within five years. It is the fifth-deadliest women’s cancer, so MOCA works to comfort those diagnosed.

Amongst a well-dressed crowd are women who are more used to hospitals than ballrooms — Kristen, who was diagnosed as a teenager; Sara, who is in Stage 3; and Maura Alvord, who is new to the group.

“Getting diagnosed is a lonely thing,” Alvord said. “When I found out about MOCA and went to the first diagnosis meeting I thought, ‘I’m not alone, I’m not alone.'”

Alvord spoke from behind a podium because she was receiving an award. Her young family will travel to the Bahamas, to the Atlantis resort.

MOCA called with the news.

“I was actually back in for another treatment and screaming so much the nurses came back in to see what was happening in my room,” she said.

Each year, an anonymous donor grants the dreams of 12 women fighting ovarian cancer.

At this year’s Dream Award banquet, Mardi from Crystal got a Scandinavian cruise, and Sara Langworthy of Minneapolis was awarded a trip in Rome with her children.

“Because I’m afraid I really won’t get that much time with them, I’m really excited to show them a city that I know,” Langworthy said. “I’m super excited. I can’t believe we get to do that.”

Wishes and vacations have been granted, including a trip to Disney World with the grandchildren, karate lessons, a laptop, and even money to help pay for adoption and in vitro fertilization, all because an unnamed person who believes in the MOCA.

“We’d never be able to do it otherwise,” Langworthy said. “It just wouldn’t be in the cards to do something so extravagant.”

Most of the women who receive “Dream Awards” have entered Stage 3 or Stage 4, so several weren’t there to receive them during the recent banquet. But they are all working hard to be strong enough to live out those dreams.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield