11th Annual San Francisco Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Raises More Than $4.2 Million

Nearly 2,000 Women and Men Join Together to Participate in the 39.3-mile Walk; Eight Local Breast Cancer Organizations Receive Grants


San Francisco, Calif., Sept. 29, 2013 – The 11th annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season continued with the Avon Walk San Francisco this weekend, raising more than $4.2 million to advance access to care and funding breast cancer prevention and treatment research. The Avon Walk San Francisco attracted nearly 2,000 participants from over 40 states and Washington, D.C. in addition to Canada, the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong. Additionally, 283 breast cancer survivors and 215 men joined together to raise life-saving funds and awareness for breast cancer.

During the Closing Ceremony at Fort Mason, Pat Stammeyer, a 17-year breast cancer survivor from Oelwein, Iowa, detailed her story of survival with fellow Avon Walkers, Crew, family and friends: “Forty-three years after my mom died of ovarian and breast cancer, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and later, ovarian cancer. The fight wasn’t easy and even though insurance paid for a lot, it took 16-years to pay all of my medical bills. This weekend, all of you came together to raise money to help so many people in need. People just like me, my mom, my daughters and granddaughters. From the bottom of my mid-western heart, thank you.”
 
Carol Kurzig, President of the Avon Foundation for Women, announced during the Closing Ceremony a total of $1.84 million in grants to eight local breast cancer organizations and seven community organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the city. “The thing that sets the Avon Walk apart is that participants get to see their hard work pay off right away,” said Kurzig. “These grants represent only a portion of the funding that the Avon Foundation will distribute in Northern California and across the country this year, but we want to make sure that the impact of this Walk begins today.”

Following are the grants the Avon Foundation for Women awarded at the Avon Walk San Francisco Closing Ceremony and will accelerate breast cancer research:

  • San Francisco General Hospital, home of the Avon Comprehensive Breast Center, received a $700,000 grant that will provide funds to support its multi-faceted community and hospital-based program. This program provides breast imaging, evaluation and treatment, genetic counseling and testing, culturally-sensitive research, education, navigation and support for underserved women in their community.
  • University of California, Berkeley received a $300,000 research grant to support research in developing a 3D Human Breast Cell Model to help better understand how exposure to chemicals in the environment affects the risk of breast cancer, with the ultimate goal of finding ways to prevent the disease.
  • Stanford University received a $150,000 grant to investigate if exposure to tobacco smoke and Bisphenol-A (also known as BPAs) together increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Zero Breast Cancer received a $125,000 research grant to continue its work in community research to better understand genetic and environmental factors that may be involved in breast cancer.

The following grants are part of the Avon Safety Net Hospital Program, which funds projects that help ensure access to quality breast cancer care, screening and treatment, regardless of a person’s insurance status or ability to pay. The following are the Northern California-area Safety Net grants awarded:

  • Alameda Health System received a $110,000 grant to support its patient navigation program.
  • Women's Cancer Resource Center received a $110,000 grant to support the Community Health Advocate Cancer Navigation Program, which trains and supervises volunteers in providing cancer support services, navigation and education, access to services and practical assistance to underserved women in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
  • Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic received a $150,000 grant to support its Advanced Cancer Program, which provides free complementary alternative medicine treatments, supportive services, and resources for patients with breast cancer who might otherwise fall through the cracks of the public health system.
  • Project Open Hand received a $200,000 grant to support grocery services, meal delivery and nutritional counseling services for people fighting breast cancer and their families.

Additionally, seven community organizations in the Northern California-area will receive Avon Foundation support in 2013 through the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program. This helps fund organizations that work to ensure women in at-risk populations are educated about and have access to regular breast cancer screenings, including:

  • Asian Pacific Health Care Venture
  • Between Women
  • Orange County Korean American Health Information and Education Center
  • St. Joseph Medical Center
  • Vista Community Clinic
  • The YWCA of North Orange County
  • The YWCA of San Pedro

About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer San Francisco
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer San Francisco, the sixth of eight 2013 Avon Walks, began on Saturday, September 28 with an inspirational opening ceremony at Fort Mason. Walkers began their journey of up to 26.2 miles on Saturday through the greater San Francisco-area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by family, friends and supporters along the route. Participants spent the night at the Walk’s “Wellness Village“ at the Corte Madera Town Park, featuring pink two-person tents, hot showers, hot meals, entertainment, volunteer medical services, as well as leisure activities such as yoga and a spa zone with mini back and foot massages.

On Sunday, September 29, after completing the Avon Walk’s final 13.1 miles – for a total of up to 39.3 miles over the course of weekend – participants joined family and friends to celebrate their achievement at a closing ceremony at Fort Mason. At the ceremony, the Avon Foundation awarded new grants to Northern California breast cancer organizations to ensure the funds raised immediately benefit the community.

Registration is open for women and men to take part in the remaining 2013 Avon Walks in the following cities: New York City (October 19-20) and Charlotte (October 26-27). For more information on the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer or to donate, visit www.avonwalk.org or call 888-541-WALK. To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women visit www.avonfoundation.org.

The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer thanks National Sponsors: Reebok, OtterBox and ORION Trading, Local Premiere Sponsors: Tiger Balm and Right Noise Productions, Local Sponsors: U-Haul, Marriott Marquis, Cognizant and Noah’s Bagels and Medical Sponsor: Stanford Hospital and Clinics.

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.
For breast cancer information and resources, visit avonfoundation.org.

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