Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Returns to Chicago for 12th Season, May 31 – June 1

Thousands to Join Annual Walk to Raise Funds for Breast Cancer Research, Treatment and Care

Chicago, May 19, 2014 – The 2014 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series continues on May 31 – June 1 in Chicago – the fourth of eight walks across the country to raise lifesaving funds for breast cancer research, access to screening and treatment for all. The national Avon Walk series brings together thousands of participants, including breast cancer survivors, who are dedicated to advancing efforts to end breast cancer,  supporting screening and treatment, and educating the public about breast cancer risk. To celebrate the 12th season of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series, the Avon Foundation for Women created an inspirational animated video to inspire more people to join the walk.

Avon Walk participants have the choice of walking a marathon (26.2 miles) or a marathon-and-a-half (39.3 miles) over the weekend. Each walker must raise a minimum of $1,800 to participate, funds that the Avon Foundation for Women distributes to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations.

Last year’s Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Chicago drew more than 2,400 participants, including 292 breast cancer survivors, who raised $5.2 million to advance access to breast health care and to fund research into the causes and treatment of breast cancer, with the ultimate goal of finding a cure. Since 2002, the Avon Foundation for Women has awarded more than $58.2 million to organizations in the Midwest including Sinai Health System, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, St. Anthony Hospital, and the Centro De Salud Y Esperanza Center. Visit avonfoundation.org to learn more about where the funds go in Chicago and across the country.

Whether participants are taking part in the Avon Walk for a personal reason or to help support the breast cancer cause, they all have a story to tell. One such walker is Kelly McCann from Plainfield, IL. She is a two year breast cancer survivor who will be walking in her second Avon Walk Chicago.

Also this weekend, the Avon Foundation for Women will welcome its second class of Avon Global Breast Cancer Clinical Scholars, where 24 physicians from 14 countries will begin their course of studies by attending the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. The Avon Global Scholars Program is Avon’s second solely-run global initiative to educate doctors through clinically-focused scholarship opportunities to help reduce the unacceptably high mortality rates from breast cancer in many countries around the world. The program will train breast cancer specialists living outside the United States at 12 leading Avon Foundation-funded U.S. breast cancer centers. 

Following their attendance at the ASCO, the Avon Scholars will begin a four to eight-week intensive training in breast cancer surgery, pathology, breast imaging (radiology), medical oncology, clinical trial design and community and public health. Avon’s goal is for the scholars to return home with advanced skills and cutting edge information so they are better equipped to provide the highest quality of breast cancer care to patients in their home countries. The inaugural Avon Global Scholars program in 2012 received 85 applicants from 22 countries, of which 25 scholars from 14 countries – from Armenia to Zambia – were selected.

About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Chicago

The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Chicago will begin on Saturday, May 31 at 6:30 a.m. with an inspirational opening ceremony at the Soldier Field Stadium Green. Walkers will then begin their journey of 26.2 miles through the Chicago area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by supporters. Participants will spend Saturday night at the walk’s “Wellness Village“ at Horner 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, June 1 after completing the Avon Walk’s final 13.1 miles, participants will join family and friends to celebrate their achievement at a closing ceremony back at the Soldier Field Stadium Green. During the ceremony, the Avon Foundation will award new grants to Chicago area breast cancer organizations to ensure the funds raised will benefit the community immediately. 

Additional 2014 Avon Walks include:  San Francisco (July 12-13), Santa Barbara (September 6-7), New York City (October 18-19) and Charlotte (October 25-26).

For more information on the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, visit www.avonwalk.org or call 888-541-WALK.  To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women visit www.avonfoundation.org

About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer 

The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series is a project of the Avon Foundation for Women, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Since its launch in 2003, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series has raised more than $500 million through the dedication of more than 192,000 participating women and men from across the country, including thousands of Avon Associates and Representatives. The Avon Foundation awards the funds raised to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations to support breast cancer education, screening and diagnosis, access to treatment and support services, and research. The Walks take place in eight cities, covering 39.3 miles in two days, and raise significant awareness and funds to fight breast cancer. The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Series is the largest fund-raising event for the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.  Since Avon launched the Crusade in 1992, Avon breast cancer programs in more than 50 countries have donated more than $815 million for research and advancing access to care. Visit www.avonwalk.org for more information.

About the Avon Foundation for Women

The Avon Foundation for Women, the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2013, Avon global philanthropy, led by the Avon Foundation, has donated more than $957 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses on funding breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Visit www.avonfoundation.org for more information.

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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 Sponsors Reebok and ORION Holdings 

Local Sponsor: Tiger Balm, Cadillac, City Winery Chicago, Conquer Cancer Foundation, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Superior Ambulance Service and the Great American Bagel

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