1,900 Women and Men conquered 39.3-miles to crush breast cancer

SAN FRANCISCO, July 24, 2016 AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer continued its 14th annual event series in San Francisco this weekend raising $4.4 million to accelerate breast cancer research; improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment; and educate people about breast cancer.

AVON 39 San Francisco – the fifth of seven events across the country united by the theme #Powerof39 – drew 1,900 participants from 37 states and Washington, D.C., including 222 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, 1,900 AVON 39ers united in San Francisco 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.”

Ali Kent shared her inspirational breast cancer journey and the importance of early detection with fellow participants, volunteers, family and friends. “I was 33 when I was diagnosed and had zero family history of cancer. I didn’t fit the mold of the typical breast cancer patient. But here it was and I had to get ready to fight the good fight,” said Ali. “It was through a simple home breast exam that I found that lump and immediately knew it didn’t feel normal. Early detection saved my life and it could save so many more. AVON 39 keeps that education going.”

At the event, AVON 39 National Ambassador Jill Surdyka announced nine 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 $45 million donated by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade and Avon Foundation for Women to organizations and institutions in Northern California.

Representatives from the nine organizations receiving grants at the AVON 39 San Francisco 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.

  • Shanti Project received a grant of $50,000 to support their Women’s Cancer Program, which provides low-income women in San Francisco with intensive care navigation services and patient advocacy.
  • The Charlotte Maxwell Clinic received a grant of $75,000 to provide underserved women in Oakland with integrative medicine including acupuncture and yoga, along with practical support, like emergency funds for unpaid bills and food pantry services.
  • Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County received a grant of $75,000 to provide comprehensive navigation services for breast cancer patients who live in rural areas of Mendocino County. The grant will help facilitate communication with providers and ensure patients have transportation and lodging for appointments that are often far away from home.
  • Women’s Cancer Resource Center received a grant of $100,000 to expand their Community Health Advocate-led High-Intensity Breast Cancer Navigation program. The program provides cancer navigation services and educates women at high risk for breast cancer in hard to reach populations.
  • Alameda Health System and Alameda Health System Foundation received a grant of $125,000 to continue to build their patient navigator program, which helps women access critically-needed breast cancer screening, diagnostic, and treatment services. This program will ensure that women get the care they need, when they need it.
  • Project Open Hand received a grant of $200,000 to help prepare and serve more than 15,000 medically-tailored meals and give grocery bags of food to more than 7,000 breast cancer patients in San Francisco and Alameda counties. The grant will also fund education on having healthy diet during cancer treatment.
  • Stanford University School of Medicine received a grant of $300,000 to support the development of new therapies with potential to cure metastatic breast cancer. The study will examine how metastatic breast cancer cells treated with new drugs suppress the expression of cancer-related genes.
  • Samaritan House of San Mateo received a grant of $376,580 on behalf of Avon’s Breast Health Outreach Programs in the Western U.S. Eight community-based programs in Alaska, Arizona, California, Montana, Utah and Washington will benefit from this grant. The money will help women and communities learn about the importance of screening, access to mammography care and any needed follow up care and treatment.
  • San Francisco General Hospital Foundation received a grant of $750,000 on behalf of the Avon Center of Excellence located at Zuckerberg San Francisco General to improve access to mammography services, care delivered through the mammography van, and access to patient navigation. Additionally, the grant will support two research projects. One will look at the ways to increase adherence to care recommendations for underserved BRCA mutation carriers and the second looks to improve the implementation of survivorship plans using patient navigation. The grant also supports access to genetic counseling and testing services, clinical trials, and cultural appropriate navigation support.

Event Details

AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer San Francisco began on Saturday, July 23 at 6:30 a.m. with an inspirational opening ceremony at Fort Mason. Participants then walked 24 miles through the San Francisco area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by supporters. AVON 39 participants spent Saturday night at Corte Madera Town 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 Stanford Health Care. A new element to the campground was Primetime 39, an evening entertainment showcase featuring a local band.

On Sunday, July 24, after completing the final 15 miles, participants joined family and friends to celebrate their achievement at a finish festival and closing ceremony at 2:30 p.m. During the ceremony, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade awarded new grants to San Francisco 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 Santa Barbara (September 10-11) and New York (October 15-16). Registration for 2017 events in Houston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Boston are also available.

For more information about AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer, visit www.avon39.org 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 www.avon39.org or join the #Powerof39 conversation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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KNOW YOUR RISKS. KNOW YOUR BODY. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR.

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.

AVON 39 Thanks National Sponsor Reebok, 

Official Sponsors PLS Financial Services, Tiger Balm, Del Monte Fruit Refreshers, Vionic, Cognizant, and Alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority, Inc.

Coffee Sponsor Don Francisco’s Coffee, Supplier Sponsor Marriott Marquis San Francisco,

and Medical Sponsor Stanford Health Care.