Ovarian Cancer Survivor Pedals to Beat Cancer

Diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 26 years of age, Madeleine is committed to raising funds for research on this devastating disease.


Madeleine Duey was at work when she first experienced severe stomach pain. It was so bad she went by ambulance to the local hospital. However, the doctors didn’t identify a problem, and sent the 26-year-old woman home several hours later.

Each time the pain recurred over the next few months, Madeleine wrote it off as just a bad stomach ache. Then, lying in bed one night, she noticed a small bump in her abdomen. She went to her doctor, who thought perhaps it was a hernia and referred her to a surgeon.

"The surgeon said, 'I don’t think this is a hernia. We need a CT scan'," she recalled.

The CT revealed an eggplant-sized tumor in Madeleine’s abdomen. She underwent emergency surgery, and a biopsy of the tumor revealed she had stage 3c ovarian cancer – a stunning finding given that just 5.3 percent of new diagnoses occur in women under 35 years of age, according to the latest federal data.

"I woke up to my mom crying … that’s when she said I had ovarian cancer," she said. "The possibility of me having ovarian cancer had never even crossed my mind."

An estimated 22,240 women in the United States are expected to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 14,070 will die from the disease in 2018, the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program reports.

After her surgery, Madeleine underwent chemotherapy and is currently cancer-free. Still, she recognizes that it is possible that her cancer could recur.

Today she has joined with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) to support awareness and raise money for cancer research. Madeleine knows that it is critically important to develop new, more effective treatments for ovarian cancer as well as better methods to screen for and detect the disease.

"They often called it the silent killer because the symptoms are very consistent with normal everyday symptoms for women: bloating, constipation, fatigue, irregular menstrual cycle," Madeleine explained.

On October 6, 2018, Madeleine is participating in the AACR Revolutions for Research indoor cycling event at The Fillmore in Philadelphia. Learn how you can join Madeleine and the AACR as we #PedalToBeatCancer at RevolutionsForResearch.org.

Last year the AACR provided over $49 million in grants and awards funding lifesaving cancer research. There are many ways you can support our mission to prevent and cure all cancers. Take Action

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is a 501c3 registered nonprofit organization with offices at 615 Chestnut Street, 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | 215.440.9300