Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Houston Raises More than $2 Million
More Than 1,000 Women and Men Participate in the 39.3-mile Walk
10 Local Breast Cancer Organizations Receive Grants
Houston, TX, April 13, 2014 – The 12th annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season kicked off in Houston this weekend, raising more than $2 million to accelerate breast cancer research; improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment; and educate people about breast cancer.
Now in its seventh year, the Avon Walk Houston – the first of eight 2014 Avon walks across the country – attracted more than 1,000 participants from 26 states and Washington, D.C., including 126 breast cancer survivors, who walked to raise lifesaving funds for breast cancer.
During the Closing Ceremony at Stude Park, 34 year-old Dana Clark, a breast cancer survivor and second time Avon Walker, emotionally shared her journey of survival with fellow Walkers, volunteers, family and friends and described what motivated her to walk: “When I found my first lump, I was in denial that it was anything serious, let alone cancer,” said Clark. “I went to the doctor to undergo testing and was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. I was only 32 years old and knew that not only was I was going to fight for my life, but that I would help other people live through this awful disease. Last year, I saw the power of the Avon Walk first-hand. That’s why I walked in my second Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this weekend, and raised enough money to help a ton of people who desperately need it.”
Eloise Caggiano, a breast cancer survivor and program director of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, announced ten new grants to local breast cancer organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the local community. “These grants represent only a portion of the funding that the Avon Foundation will distribute in Texas and across the country this year, but we want to make sure the impact of your Walk begins today. Every grant moves us closer toward our goal of a world without breast cancer,” said Caggiano.
The ten Texas organizations receiving grants on stage at the Avon Walk Houston Closing Ceremony thanked the Walkers and Crew for their commitment and spectacular fundraising achievements. All Avon Safety Net and Breast Cancer Outreach Program grantees commit to providing their services to everyone – no matter their insurance status, demographic background or ability to pay:
- Baylor College of Medicine, the Walk’s medical sponsor, received a $150,000 grant to provide screenings for more than 70,000 women and help over 300 newly diagnosed patients better navigate their breast cancer journey at Ben Taub Hospital and Smith Clinic.
- University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center received a $100,000 grant to support Breast Cancer Nurse Navigators at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston.
- The Houston Methodist Foundation received a $100,000 grant to assist more than 600 underserved patients and over 100 high-risk patients with skilled patient navigators.
- The Rose received a $100,000 grant to support patient navigators and to provide breast cancer screenings for more than 27,000 women at their two locations and through their mobile mammography van.
- University of Texas Medical Branch received a $100,000 grant to assist underserved women who have abnormal mammogram results by supporting them with patient navigators to aid through treatment and survivorship.
- University of Texas Science Center at San Antonio received a $100,000 grant to support its “Navegando Salud” navigator program, offering screenings to thousands and one-on-one counseling to 250 high-risk women in southern Texas.
- Breast Health Collaborative of Texas received a $75,000 grant to educate women and men at 15 breast cancer clinics across Texas, and care for breast cancer patients who need assistance.
- Seton Healthcare received a $75,000 grant to provide diagnostic tests to underserved rural populations and to help those patients navigate the medical challenges.
- Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation received a $50,000 grant that will allow 30 patient Advocates to attend the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, the world’s largest breast cancer conference.
- Sisters Network received a $25,000 grant to send 30 breast cancer survivors to the African-American Breast Cancer Conference that addresses survivorship issues.
In addition to providing local Houston grants, the Avon Foundation will continue to provide leadership support nationally for the fight against breast cancer. Recent initiatives include:
- 2014 Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer Mortality Study: The Avon Foundation funded a nationwide study in partnership with the Sinai Urban Health Institute to determine why more black women are dying of breast cancer than white women in 39 of the largest U.S. cities. The study revealed that Houston had a large and widening racial disparity in breast cancer mortality.
- Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance: The Avon Foundation is leading a new metastatic breast cancer alliance of 20 breast cancer agencies that are working to discover better ways to help those living with the disease and reduce deaths due to breast cancer recurrences.
- Breast Cancer Start-Up Challenge: The Avon Foundation, The Center for Advancing Innovation, and the National Cancer Institute partnered to create a business start-up challenge to fast-track ten promising breast cancer research discoveries. The inventions were conceived and developed by Avon Foundation grantees and scientists at the National Cancer Institute.
- Avon Comprehensive Breast Centers and Breast Health Outreach Programs: Through Avon Walk donations, the Avon Foundation continues to fund seven Avon Comprehensive Breast Centers across the country, accelerate breast cancer screening and treatment at more than 50 Safety Net Hospital Programs, provide financial assistance and counseling support nationwide through AVONCares at Cancer Care, and educate the public through 58 Avon Breast Health Outreach Programs.
About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Houston
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Houston began on Saturday, April 12 at 6:30 a.m. with an inspirational opening ceremony at Stude Park. Participants then walked 26.2 miles through the greater Houston area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by supporters. They spent Saturday night at the Walk’s “Wellness Village” at Rice University, featuring pink two-person tents, hot showers and meals, entertainment and volunteer medical services, as well as leisure activities such as yoga and a spa zone with mini-back and foot massages.
On Sunday, April 13, after completing the Avon Walk’s final 13.1 miles, participants joined family and friends to celebrate their achievement at the closing ceremony back at Stude Park where the new grants were awarded.
Get Involved with Avon Walks for Breast Cancer
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Houston was the first of eight walks taking place around the country this year. Registration is open for the remaining 2014 Avon Walks in the following cities: Washington, D.C. (May 3-4), Boston (May 17-18), Chicago (May 31-June 1), San Francisco (July 12-13), Santa Barbara (September 6-7), New York City (October 18-19) and Charlotte (October 25-26).
REMEMBER, EARLY DETECTION HELPS SAVE LIVES. Get a mammogram. Know your breasts and report any changes to your doctor. Talk to your doctor about your risk. And encourage women around you to do the same. Don't forget, men can get breast cancer, too.
For breast cancer information and resources, visit avonfoundation.org.
The Avon Walk thanks National Sponsor Reebok and ORION Trading.
Local Sponsor: The Egg and I; Medical Sponsor: Baylor College of Medicine
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