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Lori Newcomb, Founder of Newks Cares, Dies After 6-Year Battle with Ovarian Cancer

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

Lori Newcomb – Co-founder of Newk’s Cares and wife of Newk’s Eatery Co-founder and CEO, Chris Newcomb, died Thursday after her six-year battle with cancer. Photo from Newkscares.com.

Lori Newcomb – Co-founder of Newk’s Cares and wife of Newk’s Eatery Co-founder and CEO, Chris Newcomb, died Thursday after her six-year battle with ovarian cancer, according to the Newk’s Cares website.

Newcomb, 49, was diagnosed with stage IIIC ovarian cancer in February 2013.

A year after her diagnosis, Newcomb and her husband formed Newk’s Cares foundation that raises funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance.

“You have to not let cancer control your life,” Newcomb said in a 2017 interview. “It becomes a part of my day-to-day activities. And it’s good to surround yourself with positive, happy people which keeps my spirits up. I’ve made some wonderful friends through this journey.”

Chris Newcomb co-founded Newk’s Eatery with Dr. Don Newcomb and Debra Bryson in 2004 and opened the first restaurant in Oxford. Today, there are about 120 Newk’s in 14 states. The group also founded the popular McAlister’s Deli, which also started in Oxford.

In five years, Lori and Chris raised $1 million for Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance. According to Newk’s Cares, some of her efforts included: 

  • Selling Newk’s Cares-themed water bottles in all 120+ Newk’s Eatery restaurants, where $.10 of each bottle purchase is donated to OCRA
  • Hosting an annual Ovarian Cycle Jackson spin event with proceeds directly benefiting OCRA, as she was an avid cyclist prior to becoming ill
  • Serving as a board member for OCRA
  • Helping to establish the OCRA-funded “Woman to Woman” mentor program at the St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Miss., which unites a current ovarian cancer survivor with a newly diagnosed patient
  • Inspiring several menu items at Newk’s Eatery, including the Shrimp & Avocado Salad and a seasonal Thai Chicken Soup offering – which was created with numerous cancer-fighting ingredients

On the Newk’s Care website, the Newk’s family encouraged sharing of positive memories and stories of Lori on social media with the hashtag #TealForLori, as well as welcoming people to follow @NewksCares on Facebook to stay up-to-date on upcoming initiatives. 


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