Beer Sales for Ovarian Cancer Research

By: Danielle Sampsell

Brewing Hope and Raising Funds, One Beer at a Time

A specialty beer – brewed in memory of a special young woman – has raised more than $31,000 for ovarian cancer research at UPMC Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation.

Former brewer Mike Fahy developed a coffee-flavored stout at Whitehourse Brewing in Berlin, Pa., to honor his late wife, Darcel, who was just 25 years old when she was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer.

Due to her willingness and eagerness to participate in clinical trials, Dr. Robert Edwards, a UPMC Hillman Cancer Center gynecological oncology surgeon, credits Darcel with helping to develop a new treatment in use today.

“She (Darcel) went through a lot of trials at Magee and it was always her goal to help at least one person,” said Mike. “She always said if she could help one person, all the stuff she went through would be worth it. And, she did.”

Dr. Carolyn Kubik, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, is one of those people Darcel helped. Dr. Kubik battled her own bout of ovarian cancer and is now cancer-free after undergoing the treatment Darcel trialed.

“I’m here because of Darcel,” said Dr. Kubik. “She was willing and brave enough to go through a treatment that had not been proven to be effective, but because of her and because of women like her, I am now cancer free.”

Together with his late wife’s parents, his current wife Kaitlin, the owner of Whitehorse Brewing, and other local brewery owners, Mike proudly produces the special stout annually in September, during ovarian cancer awareness month. All proceeds from the beer go toward ovarian cancer research efforts with Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation.

“It’s very important to me that we can do something about this cancer that is so deadly,” said Mike. “It’s so important and we just want to be a part of it, even if it’s a small part.”

Video credit: John Dillard, UPMC