Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Washington, D.C. Raises $4.5 Million
2,000 Women and Men Participate in the 39.3-mile Walk
8 Local Breast Cancer Organizations Receive Grants
Washington, D.C., May 4, 2014 – The 12th annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season continued in Washington, D.C. this weekend, raising $4.5 million to accelerate breast cancer research; improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment; and educate people about breast cancer.
The Avon Walk Washington, D.C. – the second of eight 2014 Avon Walks across the country – attracted 2,000 participants from 42 states and Washington, D.C., including 260 breast cancer survivors, who walked to raise lifesaving funds for breast cancer.
During the Closing Ceremony at the Washington Monument Grounds, Debbie Janeczek, a breast cancer survivor and two-time Avon Walker, emotionally shared her journey of survival with fellow walkers, volunteers, family and friends and described what motivated her to walk. “I participated in my first Avon Walk in 2011 in memory of my cousin’s wife, whom we’d lost to breast cancer. I’d always thought that if I’m ever faced with the same battle, I hope that I can face it with as much courage as she did,” Janeczek said. “With no family history or risk factors, I never expected to receive a breast cancer diagnosis. As a former US Navy Officer, I’ve had the chance to hike all over the world and the Avon Walk has become a life-changing hike for me. This year, as I crossed the finish line, it symbolized that even though we face huge challenges, together we can keep moving forward. The money we raised this weekend will help so many others reach their finish lines.”
Eloise Caggiano, a breast cancer survivor and Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Program Director, announced eight 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 the Washington, D.C. area 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 Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia organizations that received grants on stage include:
- Johns Hopkins University, the Walk’s medical sponsor, received a $600,000 grant to support patient navigation at Johns Hopkins Bayview and Johns Hopkins–Avon Breast Center and Breast Cancer Program, which is the hub of all research, education and clinical care activities for breast health at Johns Hopkins.
- Food & Friends, the Walk’s food sponsor, received a $250,000 grant to provide nearly 200,000 meals to women diagnosed with breast cancer and their families, ensuring that patients receive high-quality, nutritious meals when they need it the most.
- Capital Breast Care Center, a program of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, received a $200,000 grant to provide comprehensive breast cancer screening services to nearly 2,000 medically underserved women in the D.C. metropolitan area, many of whom are ineligible for public assistance and will require follow-up and evaluation.
- George Washington University received a $100,000 grant to support an Avon Patient Navigator who will remove barriers and coordinate access to care for prompt diagnosis, and assist with insurance access and resources for more than 1,000 patients.
- Howard University Cancer Center received a $100,000 grant to continue to screen more than 5,000 women this year and help those patients requiring follow-up care to navigate the medical system.
- MedStar Washington Hospital Center received a $100,000 grant to provide outreach, education, navigation services and treatment to women in D.C. Ward 5.
- Adventist Healthcare received a $100,000 grant to navigate more than 1,400 medically underserved patients to free screening mammograms and provide an anticipated 400 of these patients free follow-up care.
- University of Maryland Baltimore received a $75,000 grant to support the Baltimore City Breast Cancer Patient Navigator Program. Since the program began, it has screened more than 30,000 Baltimore City residents.
In addition to awarding local Washington, D.C. area 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 Chicago’s 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 Washington, D.C. 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 55 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. 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.
About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Washington, D.C.
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Washington, D.C. began on Saturday, May 3 at 6:30 a.m. with an inspirational opening ceremony at the Washington Monument Grounds. Participants then walked 26.2 miles through the Washington, D.C. area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by supporters. They spent Saturday night at the Walk’s “Wellness Village” at Meadowbrook Park, 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, May 4, 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 the Washington Monument Grounds where the new grants were awarded.
Get Involved with Avon Walks for Breast Cancer
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Washington, D.C. was the second of eight walks taking place around the country this year. Registration is open for the remaining 2014 Avon Walks in the following cities: 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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