Dunedin woman secures free Times Square billboard to mark World Ovarian Cancer Day

A Dunedin woman has scored a huge win to promote her cancer charity in New York.

Jane Ludemann, 32, has secured a free billboard in Times Square to mark World Ovarian Cancer Day. The giant advert is longer than a football field and calls for more funding and research for the disease.

Ludemann was diagnosed with ovarian cancer three years ago, just as she was starting a new life in Dunedin.

"My husband and I were talking about having a family and then your whole world just gets turned completely upside down," she told Newshub.

She has a rare type of ovarian cancer, called low-grade serous carcinoma. It's slow-growing and often affects younger women. With current treatments, she was told she had five to 15 years to live.

Two years ago, Canadian model Elly Mayday campaigned in Times Square to raise awareness of the deadly disease, while prior to COVID-19, more than 60 women from around the world were preparing to continue that campaign in New York.

"I was determined that I wanted to make sure that women still had a voice and a presence," Ludemann said. 

A New York agency responded to her calls for help, donating space on a prime billboard in Times Square.

Hanging on the Marriott Marquis Hotel, it's one of the world's largest and most expensive digital advertising screens. It measures about 100 metres in length "so it pretty much spans an entire block," Ludemann said. 

Dunedin woman secures free Times Square billboard to mark World Ovarian Cancer Day
Photo credit: Supplied.

Kiwi creative agency Topham Guerin also helped out, designing an advert with a simple message alongside calls for more funding and research.

"I'm trying to just live the best life I can, while I can. And make sure that women in the future have a better chance than I do," Ludemann said. 

The billboard went live on Friday afternoon, marking World Ovarian Cancer Day in New York City.

A big sign of awareness these women are grateful to see.