Seventh Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Charlotte Raises $1.7 Million
900 Women and Men Participate in the 39.3 Mile Walk; Grants Awarded to Seven Local Breast Cancer Organizations
Charlotte, NC, October 23, 2011 – The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season continued with the seventh annual Avon Walk Charlotte this weekend, which raised $1.7 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. The Avon Walk Charlotte, the last of nine Walks in the 2011 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season, attracted nearly 900 participants from 38 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada; 107 men and 108 breast cancer survivors, all joined together to raise life-saving funds and awareness for breast cancer.
During the Closing Ceremony at Frazier Park in Charlotte, Kathryn Pruett, a 9-month breast cancer survivor from Charlotte, NC, spoke movingly about her breast cancer journey: “I originally registered for the Avon Walk because I thought it would be a good way to stay in shape, meet new people and support a cause that was important to me. I knew little about the disease, but had family and friends who had been affected by it, which made it that much more meaningful. This January, I felt a lump in my breast and found out I had Stage 2 breast cancer. Chemo began, followed by surgery. But oddly enough, this year has been one of the best years of my life. It has been a journey of self discovery, a chance to find balance, and to learn that I’m so much stronger than I ever expected! I knew I needed to register to walk again with all of you this weekend—this time as a breast cancer survivor.”
Dr. Marc Hurlbert, executive director of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, announced more than $930,000 in grants to seven local organizations during the Closing Ceremony, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the community. More grants are slated to be awarded throughout the year to breast cancer programs nationwide. “Our beneficiaries are changing the course of breast cancer—here in the Carolinas, across the country, and around the world.These new grants will literally help them save lives,” said Hurlbert.
Following are the seven grants the Avon Foundation for Women awarded at the Avon Walk Charlotte Closing Ceremony:
• Carolinas Medical Center, the Avon Walk Charlotte Medical Sponsor, received $220,000 to support the Mecklenburg County Breast Care Management program that provides outreach and patient navigation services to medically underserved women in Charlotte. The staff coordinates screening and care through four facilities: the Carolinas Hospital, the Blumenthal Cancer Center, and the Myers Park and Health Department Clinics.
• Clemson University received $150,000to support a research project seeking to develop new ways to improve breast reconstructive surgery using a patients own cells, with a novel application of drugs to reduce tumor recurrence or metastases.
• University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received $150,000 to support a research project that hopes to identify biomarkers that will help doctors understand who is at highest risk for breast cancer recurrence.
• The Medical University of South Carolina received $110,000 to support a patient navigation program that improves access to screening, diagnostics and treatment for underserved populations in South Carolina.
• Randolph Hospital received $100,000 to continue support of a patient navigation program which will better reach the medically underserved in rural Randolph County.
• Presbyterian Hospital received $100,000to support its community outreach and patient navigation program to improve access to screening, diagnostics and treatment to underserved populations in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and eleven surrounding counties.
• North Carolina Baptist Hospital received $100,000 to support their community outreach and patient navigation services program called the Survivors in Service Navigation Network.
About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Charlotte
During the Avon Walk Charlotte, which is a noncompetitive event, women and men had a choice of walking a marathon (26.2 miles) or a marathon and a half (39.3 miles) over the weekend. The event kicked off Saturday, October 22, with an early morning Opening Ceremony at Frazier Park in Charlotte. Following the ceremony, walkers began their journey, traveling through the streets of Charlotte and concluding at the Avon Walk “Wellness Village” at Park Road Park. The “Wellness Village” featured two-person pink sleeping tents, hot showers, full hot meals, entertainment, volunteer medical services and comprehensive support services, along with leisure activities such as relaxing yoga to stretch out the muscles and a spa zone with mini-back-and-foot-massages. On Sunday, October 23, walkers completed the final 13.1 miles, ending back at Frazier Park, where thousands of family members and friends greeted them and shared in a celebratory and moving Closing Ceremony, including the awarding of new grants.
To participate in the Avon Walk Charlotte, each walker raised a minimum of $1,800 in donations. The Avon Foundation for Women [a 501(c)(3) public charity] manages the funds raised, which it awards to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations to support five areas of the breast cancer cause, including awareness and education, screening and diagnosis, access to treatment, support services, and scientific research.
Since its launch in 2003, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series has raised more than $422 million through the dedication of more than 163,000 participating women and men from across the country, including thousands of Avon Associates and Representatives. The Avon Walk Charlotte is the last event of the 2011 season, but registration is now open for women and men to take part in any of the nine Walks scheduled for 2012 – the Avon Walk’s 10th Birthday season! To register, donate or for additional information, please visit www.avonwalk.org or call 800-541-WALK. For information on the Avon Foundation for Women visit www.avonfoundation.org.
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer thanks National Sponsor: Reebok; Official Sponsors: Genentech BioOncology, OtterBox and Orion Trading; Local Sponsors: Groupon, Humana, South Charlotte Oral Facial Surgery, Metso Power, Carolina's Chefs, PreGel America; and Medical Sponsor: Levine Cancer Institute
Remember, early detection helps save lives. Talk to your doctor about your risk, risk-reduction strategies and about what age to start mammography. For more breast cancer information and resources, visit www.cancer.org or www.avonfoundation.org. And don't forget, men can get breast cancer too.