Avon Raises $4 Million For Cancer Research

Sheri McCoy, Avon, CEO


The 12th annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season continued in San Francisco this weekend, raising $4 million to accelerate breast cancer research;  improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment; and educate people about breast cancer.

The Avon Walk San Francisco – the fifth of eight 2014 Avon Walks across the country – attracted 1,800 participants from 37 states, Washington, D.C. and France. In addition, 238 breast cancer survivors and 301 men joined together to raise lifesaving funds for breast cancer.  

During the Closing Ceremony at Fort Mason, Kristin Crosland, a breast cancer survivor and first time Avon Walker, shared her breast cancer journey with fellow walkers, volunteers, family and friends. “My 18-month breast cancer journey has had its Lifetime Television for Women melodrama moments.

I have late stage disease, I received a quick death sentence from my first doctor, battled a life threatening blood clot, and have endured the heartache of some pretty dicey CT scans,” Crosland shared. “But I have come to realize that despite all of this, I am one of the fortunate ones.  I have received first rate medical care.  I have the love and support of so many people from near and far.  And this weekend, I got to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge with all of you.”

Eloise Caggiano, a breast cancer survivor and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Program Director, announced 10 new grants to local breast cancer organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the local community. “These grants represent only a portion of the funding that the Avon Foundation for Women will distribute in Northern California and across the country this year, but we want to make sure the impact of your Avon Walk begins today. Every grant moves us closer toward our goal of a world without breast cancer,” said Caggiano.

The Northern California organizations that received grants on stage at the Avon Walk Closing Ceremony are:

Cancer Resource Center of Mendocino received a $75,000 grant to help provide patient navigation and support services to low-income women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and who live in some of the most rural parts of Northern California.

Women's Cancer Resource Center received a $100,000 grant to help support 2,500 women diagnosed with breast cancer with patient navigation, financial assistance, education, case management and other support services.

Zero Breast Cancer received a $100,000 research grant to fund the continuation of a unique community-based, participatory approach to breast cancer research to identify its causes and ultimately prevent the disease.

Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic received a $125,000 grant to help provide more than 6,500 integrative medical services, including acupuncture, Chinese herbs, massage therapy and homeopathy and safety net support services for low-income women with breast cancer.
Alameda Health System and the Alameda Health System Foundation received a $150,000 grant to assist high-risk patients in need of diagnostic and treatment services.

Stanford University received a $150,000 research grant to help further examine the long-term effects exposure to combinations of environmental carcinogens may have on breast tissue.

Paradigm Shift Therapeutics received a $150,000 research grant to help study the role the protein CD47 plays in the development and spread of breast cancer, and to determine if the manipulation of this protein can improve a patient’s response to chemotherapy, help reduce the side effects and prevent breast cancer metastasis.  

Project Open Hand received a $200,000 grant, which will enable its Homebound Critically Ill Program to serve 414 breast cancer clients this year, providing 7,800 grocery shop visits and 14,400 meals.  

University of San Francisco received a $300,000 research grant to help study the role a common virus may play in the development of inflammatory and triple negative breast cancers and breast cancer metastasis.  

San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH), the home of an Avon Breast Cancer Center of Excellence, received a $500,000 grant to support the, Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Program at SFGH, which includes a screening and diagnostic Center, including a mobile mammography van, a high-risk genetic counseling and testing clinic, in-house and community outreach navigation programs, a lymphedema education and referral program, and a breast cancer research program. 

The Avon Breast Center has performed over 85,000 mammograms and more than 10,000 breast procedures since it opened in 2004.  

These donations represent only a portion of the grants that will be made with funds raised by the Avon Walks this year. An additional $100,000 has been granted to Northern California organizations, Shanti Project andthesecondopinion, each receiving a grant of $50,000.

In addition to awarding local San Francisco grants, the Avon Foundation will continue to provide leadership support nationally for the fight against breast cancer. Recent initiatives include:

2014 Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer Mortality Study: The Avon Foundation funded a nationwide study in partnership with Chicago’s Sinai Urban Health Institute to determine why more black women are dying of breast cancer than white women in 39 of the largest U.S. cities. The study revealed that San Francisco had a large and widening racial disparity in breast cancer mortality.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance: The Avon Foundation is leading a new metastatic breast cancer alliance of 20 breast cancer agencies that are working to discover better ways to help those living with the disease and reduce deaths due to breast cancer recurrences.
Breast Cancer Start-Up Challenge: The Avon Foundation, The Center for Advancing Innovation, and the National Cancer Institute partnered to create a business start-up challenge to fast-track ten promising breast cancer research discoveries. The inventions were conceived and developed by Avon Foundation grantees and scientists at the National Cancer Institute.

Avon Comprehensive Breast Centers and Breast Health Outreach Programs: Through Avon Walk donations, the Avon Foundation continues to fund seven Avon Comprehensive Breast Centers across the country, accelerate breast cancer screening and treatment at 55 Safety Net Hospital Programs, provide financial assistance and counseling support nationwide through AVONCares at Cancer Care, and educate the public through 58 Avon Breast Health Outreach Programs. 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.

About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer San Francisco

The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer San Francisco began on Saturday, July 12 at 6:30 a.m. with an inspirational opening ceremony at Fort Mason. Participants then walked nearly 26.2 miles throughout San Francisco, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by supporters. They spent Saturday night at the Walk’s “Wellness Village” at Corte Madera Town 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.

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.  

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