More than 1,600 Women and Men conquered 39.3-miles to crush breast cancer

CHICAGO, June 5, 2016 AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer continued its 14th annual event series in Chicago this weekend raising $4.1 million to accelerate breast cancer research; improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment; and educate people about breast cancer.

AVON 39 Chicago – the third of seven events across the country united by the theme #Powerof39 – drew more than 1,600 participants from 46 states and Washington, D.C., including 248 breast cancer survivors who walked a total of 39.3 miles over two days. Since the AVON 39’s launch in 2003, more than 220,000 participants have raised nearly $590,000,000. Funds raised are distributed to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations.

“This weekend, more than 1,600 AVON 39ers united in Chicago with one common goal: to end breast cancer,” said Jill Surdyka, AVON 39 National Ambassador. “The grants given today will help us do just that – and will help us to further our goal in providing services to those in need, educating the public, and crushing breast cancer once and for all.”

Kari Greczek shared her moving story and battle with breast cancer with fellow participants, volunteers, family and friends. “Once I felt that I could talk about my diagnosis, surgery and treatment, I found that almost every person I spoke to could somehow relate,” said Kari. “Without regular check-ups or mammograms, my cancer never would have been found until it was much more advanced and aggressive. I am so grateful for the team of doctors I had, and for my friends and family who have turned this into a learning and growing experience.”

At the event, AVON 39 National Ambassador Jill Surdyka announced seven new grants to local breast cancer organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the local community. Additional grants will be awarded throughout the year, adding to the more than $63 million donated by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade and Avon Foundation for Women to organizations and institutions in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

Representatives from the seven organizations receiving grants at the AVON 39 Chicago thanked participants for their commitment to ending breast cancer and for their 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.

  • Cook County Health and Hospital Systems received a grant of $75,000 grant to provide genetic counseling and risk assessment testing services for women in need.
  • Loretto Hospital received a grant of $75,000 to provide patient navigation services and vital screenings to women in the suburb of Austin, Chicago.
  • Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force received a grant of $150,000 to expand patient navigation programs for women in the Chicago area and develop a surveillance system to ensure that women across Illinois are getting high-quality mammograms and breast cancer care.
  • Sinai Health System received a grant of $200,000 to support the Helping Her Live program which provides community-based outreach and patient navigation for women in North and South Lawndale.
  • Xilin Association received a grant of $254,300 on behalf of the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program, which will serve various community organizations in the Chicago area including Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation, in Sauget, Ill.; Arab Community Center For Economic & Social Services Access in Dearborn, Mo.; Catherine’s Health Center and Cherry Street Services both in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and the YWCA of Greater Lafayette, Ind.
  • University of Wisconsin received a research grant of $300,000 to examine the impact of diet on tumor growth for patients with aggressive, triple negative breast cancer.
  • The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, home of the Avon Center of Excellence received a grant of $750,000 to support three research projects researching how breast cancer develops, large-scale breast health education efforts, and one-on-one patient navigation at the Erie Family Health Center and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Event Details

AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer Chicago began on Saturday, June 4 at 6:30 a.m. with an inspirational opening ceremony at Soldier Field. Participants then walked 26.2 miles through the Chicago area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by supporters. AVON 39 participants spent Saturday night at Horner Park, featuring pink two-person tents, hot showers and meals, entertainment and leisure activities, as well as volunteer medical services provided by AVON 39 Medical Sponsor Northwestern Medicine. A new element to the campground was Primetime 39, an evening entertainment showcase featuring a local band.

On Sunday, June 5, after completing the final 13.1 miles, participants joined family and friends to celebrate their achievement at a finish festival and closing ceremony at 2:00 p.m. During the ceremony, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade awarded new grants to Chicago area breast cancer organizations to ensure the funds raised will benefit the community immediately.

Get Involved with AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer
The 2016 season is open for registration and events will also take place in Boston (July 9-10); San Francisco (July 23-24); Santa Barbara (September 10-11); and New York (October 15-16).

For more information about AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer, visit or join the #Powerof39 conversation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

About AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer

AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer is the largest fund-raising event for the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Since its launch by the Avon Foundation for Women 2003, more than 220,000 participants have trekked 6,868,000 miles and raised nearly $590,000,000 in the fight to end breast cancer. Funds raised at each event provide direct impact in the area where the event takes place, and also help make sure that care and research programs nationwide have adequate resources to make the most progress possible. For more information about AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer, visit or join the #Powerof39 conversation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.



Encourage women around you to do the same. Don’t forget, men can get breast cancer, too.
For breast cancer information and resources, visit

AVON 39 Thanks National Sponsor Reebok, Official Sponsor PLS Financial Services,

AVON 39 Chicago Official Sponsors Tiger Balm and Cadillac,

Supplier Sponsor Superior, Breakfast Sponsor The Great American Bagel, Coffee Sponsor Don Francisco’s Coffee

and Medical Sponsor Northwestern Medicine