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Our philosophy

We want to help save lives.

That is our vision. In this way we hope to act in the spirit of our founder, Manja Gideon, whose last goal in life was “to empower women to ask their doctors the right questions. If even one single life were to be saved through my foundation, I would be the happiest of women.”     


We are active participants in the effort to spread the word on ovarian cancer and to increase interest in it as a research topic. We do this by telling the personal—but sadly typical—story of our founder in an effort to raise awareness of this terrible disease. And we collaborate with medical specialists to actively help shape both the questions and answers surrounding ovarian cancer. It is our belief that we, as individuals, have a contribution to make to the larger community. And that as members of an international community of shared values, we are in the service of good cause.

To this end, the foundation has made available its time, expertise, networks and financial resources.

What we do: Our mission

We provide information on ovarian cancer and work to raise awareness of the disease and its symptoms. Our focus is therefore primarily on women. But our larger community equally involves their families, interested individuals, physicians and organizations. The more well-rounded and deep the knowledge of ovarian cancer is, the better the chances of early detection and recovery.

For this reason, we concentrate our efforts on spreading information, improving prevention and early detection, and research. The fate of our founder made us recognize the need to take action in all three of these areas.

Inasmuch as they align with the foundation’s mission, we provide financial support to projects that address the topics described above. Please submit your project by filling in our application form (please use Microsoft Word). The Foundation Board makes a determination twice a year (in April and October) regarding the allocation of funds.

“We want to encourage women to be their own health advocates: with self-confidence and authority.”

— Prof. Dr. Felix Gutzwiller

To spread information

Manja Gideon had the sense that allowing a glimpse into her life and what she endured might serve to make the unattractive, intimidating and still socially taboo subject of ovarian cancer of interest to others. So she made the decision to make hers the public face of this cancer. The story of her multifaceted life and her suffering is told in the extensive pictorial biography Traces.

Our focus:

  • Fact-based Information: We want to reach as many people as possible. In partnership with Krebsliga Zürich, we developed and published the brochure: “Ovarian Cancer – Early detection of Symptoms.” It provides information based on current research and contains essential medical background information.

  • Professional Development: Upon request, we also assist at conferences, symposia and lecture series for the general public and physicians from a variety of medical specialties. In particular, many physicians, general practitioners and gastroenterologists often lack sufficient awareness of this topic. We want to change that because these doctors are often the first point of contact for women experiencing symptoms.

Prevention and early detection

There are currently no reliable screening tests for ovarian cancer. However, the risk factors are known. Included in these are the gene mutations BRCA1 and BRCA2. It makes sense for us as a foundation to strive for improved prevention as regards genetic predisposition.

Our focus:

  • Selective Prevention: “There is a higher percentage of women in the Jewish community with this genetic mutation, in particular Jewish women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent,” says gynecologist Prof. René Hornung, MD. The Manja Gideon Foundation supports the drive for prevention efforts in regards to this group of individuals and the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. We see this as providing a chance to reach women earlier, to assist them with disease prevention and, in the case of diagnosis, to potentially encourage recovery.

  • Enhance Knowledge: The most radical form of prevention is surgical removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes, which is advised for women with BRCA gene mutations. In other cases, it can be enough to remove the fallopian tubes. This does not affect the hormonal balance and does not bring on menopause.

  • Active Engagement: Women who are well-informed are more self-confident, bring ovarian cancer up with their doctors earlier and request examinations, which can save their lives.

“I see the chance for us to be an incubator for ideas.”

— Prof. Dr. René Hornung


Breast cancer and cervical cancer are scientifically well-researched and are regularly the subject of public discussion. Almost 10 times as many women are diagnosed annually with breast cancer as with ovarian cancer; the breast, as the secondary sexual characteristic, is the very representation of femininity and holds an aura of sexiness, particularly in the media. Young women have become aware of cervical cancer through the HPV vaccine. Both of these cancers have a good recovery rate with early detection. The pharmaceutical and device industries invest in research and early detection, particularly in the USA—even if the benefits of mammography, for example, remain unclear.

The situation is different for ovarian cancer. There is less funding available for research. In general, it is very expensive to bring a project from inception to funding.

Our focus:

  • Startup Funding: We want to help researchers and institutions develop ideas into mature projects and facilitate their submission to national or international research funds.

Your donation brings us closer to our goal. You can support our work by making a contribution to our donations account: CH3300 206 2064 229 0201R, or by clicking on the button below.

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