Research into Ovarian Cancer ceased to exist on
December 31, 2005.


"The personal tragedy of losing a dear friend has made me determined to do whatever I can, through ROC, to prevent other families suffering in the same way"

- Michael Ball

What is ROC?

ROC stands for Research into Ovarian Cancer.

Why is Michael so involved into ROC?

In 1992 Angela McGowan was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, when she was having a minor surgery. Angela died within just three months after being diagnosed. The family was shocked and they found out Ovarian Cancer is one of the biggest killers. Still they had never heard about it before.

At the time there was only the Ovarian Cancer Screening Unit (OCSU) located at the Royal London Hospital, which was in desperate need of funding. John McGowan, the whole McGowan family and John Cullen (who lost his mother by the desease) knew the unit had to be shut down within weeks, if they were not able to raise some money to support it. ROC was founded.

Angela McGowan was Cathy's sister-in-law and one of her best friends. Within the very short time Michael was lucky enough to know her, they became good friends. Angela was very important in the early days of Michael's and Cathy's bonding.

What happened to the OCSU?

It is now located at St. Bartholomew's Hospital. They have been researching to develop a blood test that shall help detecting Ovarian Cancer in the early stages, when Ovarian Cancer is still an easily curable desease. During the 90s about 30,000 women were tested, the tests could be improved and the evidence was done: The blood test could save lives.

OCSU was given £ 22 million by the Medical Research Council for a new study that shall be finished in 2010.

Okay, so how can I help?

There are tons and tons of things you can do to help ROC and the OCSU, but the best palce to find out about this is their official website. Just pop in at

So, what is the significance of "The Rose"?

"The Rose" was recorded in 1995. The proceeds won by the release went completely to ROC. When the single was released Michael promoted it heavily on TV and of course used the time on air primarily to raise awareness for Ovarian Cancer and of course for ROC.

What are the books "The things we do for Love" and "Actually, it's love" about?

The books were compiled by John and his sister Frankie McGowan. They contain stories written by famous people about the things they did for love or what love means to people. The latter one is a new release of the first one. Some stories are missing in the second book, while they have some new ones as well (including some pages written by Michael himself). For more information visit JustBall's Literature page. Again all proceeds from the book go to ROC:

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