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

SANTA BARBARA, September 11 , 2016 AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer continued its 14th annual event series in Santa Barbara this weekend raising $4.6 million to accelerate breast cancer research; improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment; and educate people about breast cancer.

AVON 39 Santa Barbara – the sixth of seven events across the country united by the theme #Powerof39 – drew 1,900 participants from 43 states and Washington, D.C., including 265 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 Santa Barbara 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.”

Yvette Jones, two-time breast cancer survivor and mom shared her inspirational journey with fellow participants, volunteers, family and friends. “After my diagnosis, my best friend was also diagnosed with breast cancer. I realized that my job as her best friend was to help her navigate her journey using my experience as a guide. In January, we both decided to join AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer as Survivors,” said Jones. “I’ve found myself in that position repeatedly since my first fight with cancer and, while difficult, I am glad to provide help and reassurance to loved ones. AVON 39 encourages everyone to be positive, patient and strong.”

At the event, AVON 39 National Ambassador Jill Surdyka announced 11 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 Southern California.

Representatives from the 11 organizations receiving grants at AVON 39 Santa Barbara 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.

  • Dignity Health French Hospital received a grant of $50,000 to support their Breast Cancer Outreach and Navigation Program, which assists more than 500 low-income Latina women in San Luis Obispo North County. The program provides patients with a bilingual lay patient navigator, education and outreach in multiple languages, and free mammography clinics and diagnostic tests.
  • Good Samaritan Hospital received a grant of $65,000 to provide patient navigation services to at least 200 women in Los Angeles. These funds will ensure that their diverse group of Spanish, Korean and English speaking patients receive culturally appropriate breast health education materials.
  • San Antonio Regional Hospital received a grant of $85,000 to develop strong relationships with young women diagnosed with breast cancer in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The hospital’s nurse navigator will ensure that more than 100 women get timely diagnostic and treatment services when they need them.
  • Cancer Center of Santa Barbara received a grant of $100,000 to continue their Breast Cancer Patient Navigation Program, which eliminates barriers to care that underserved women in Santa Barbara County often encounter when they seek breast health care. Over the next year, the Cancer Center will work with 650 patients to develop and maintain their treatment and survivorship plans.
  • Northridge Hospital Foundation received a grant of $100,000 to provide more than 14,000 mammograms, navigate more than 1,500 women through diagnostic services, and support 150 women through cancer treatment and survivorship. The funds will also help Northridge Hospital Foundation expand its reach through the San Fernando Valley by providing Spanish-language education at churches, health fairs and breast support groups.
  • University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine received a grant of $100,000 to help the AVON Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer Prevention Clinic continue to serve as a medical home for breast cancer screening and prevention for uninsured women in Los Angeles County, many of which are recent immigrants, who have an elevated inherited breast cancer risk.
  • Project Angel Food received a grant of $125,000 to support the delivery of 50,000 medically tailored meals to breast cancer patients in the Los Angeles area. Project Angel Food will also provide personalized nutrition counseling to 175 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.
  • YWCA of North Orange County received a grant of $130,000 on behalf of the Breast Health Outreach Programs of Southern California to help thousands of women living in underserved communities learn about the importance of and options for screening, access to mammography care and any needed follow-up care and treatment.
  • Paradigm Shift Therapeutics received a research grant of $200,000 to assist in the development of a high-impact, affordable drug targeting a protein, CD47, in an effort to reduce metastatic breast cancer deaths. In addition, they will observe if existing drugs can block the development of CD47-related tumors in other organs in an effort to fast-track any potential new therapies.
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center received a research grant of $300,000 on behalf of Phillip Koeffler. Dr. Koeffler will examine various types of triple-negative breast cancer cells to determine if there are existing drugs that can address the gene mutations that cause this type of aggressive breast cancer.
  • University of California at Los Angeles, home of the Avon Center of Excellence, received a grant of $750,000 to support the Avon Cares for Life program at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Olive View Medical Center and its community clinics. This program will provide underserved women in Los Angeles with on-site patient navigation, survivorship support and access to the high-risk clinic and clinical trials research. In 2017, the program will expand its reach to include another hospital within the Department of Health Services in Los Angeles County.

Event Details

AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer Santa Barbara began on Saturday, September 10 at 6:30 a.m. with an inspirational opening ceremony at Chase Palm Park. Participants then walked 26.2 miles through the Santa Barbara area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by supporters. AVON 39 participants spent Saturday night at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, 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 John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. A new element to the campground was Primetime 39, an evening entertainment showcase featuring a local band.

On Sunday, September 11, after completing the final 13.1 miles, participants joined family and friends to celebrate their achievement at a finish festival and closing ceremony at 2:30 p.m. During the ceremony, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade awarded new grants to Southern California breast cancer organizations to ensure the funds raised will benefit the community immediately.

Get Involved with AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer
Registration for New York (October 15-16), the final event of the 2016 season, is open. Registration for 2017 events in Houston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco and Santa Barbara is 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 Sponsor PLS Financial Services,

Coffee Sponsor Don Francisco’s Coffee, Supplier Sponsor American Medical Response, and

 Medical Sponsor John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center