Avon 39 The Walk To End Breast Cancer Raises $2.2 Million In Houston

HOUSTON, TX (April 24, 2016) – AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer kicked off its 14th annual event series in Houston this weekend raising $2.2 million to accelerate breast cancer research; improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment; and educate people about breast cancer.

AVON 39 Houston – the first of seven events across the country united by the theme #Powerof39 – drew more than 1,000 participants from 35 states and Washington, D.C., including 143 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 1,000 AVON 39ers united in Houston 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.”

Houston local Holly Gibson, 42, shared her battle with breast cancer with fellow participants, volunteers, family and friends. “I decided to walk the AVON 39 Houston to contribute to cancer treatment and research, support cancer patients who are less fortunate, and say thank you to those who helped my family. I look at the AVON 39 as the culmination of my cancer story. Training for the walk has made me so much stronger.”

Jill Surdyka, AVON 39 National Ambassador, announced six 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 $18 million donated by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade and Avon Foundation for Women to organizations and institutions in Texas.

Representatives from the six Texas organizations receiving grants on stage at the AVON 39 closing ceremony 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.

-Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation received a $50,000 grant that will allow patient advocates to attend the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, the world’s largest breast cancer conference, where they will receive advanced training and share best practices.
-Avon Breast Health Outreach Program received $227,000 to provide assistance to community groups in Houston, El Paso, Beaumont, San Antonio, and Lubbock for community outreach, patient navigation and mammography screenings.
-Baylor College of Medicine the AVON 39 medical sponsor, received $100,000 to increase access to state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment for women in Houston, including genetic testing for women with a family history of breast cancer.  
-The Methodist Hospital Foundation received a $100,000 grant to assist 2,000 underserved, at-risk breast cancer patients at the Denver Harbor Clinic.
-The Rose received a $100,000 grant to provide patient navigation services and low-or-no cost breast cancer surgical and diagnostic procedures to women living in rural areas of Southeast Texas.
-M.D. Anderson Cancer Center received a $236,000 grant to research drugs that tackle inflammatory breast cancer, a rare and aggressive type of breast cancer, and a $100,000 grant to support Breast Cancer Nurse Navigators at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston.

Event Details
AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer Houston began on Saturday, April 23 at 6:30 a.m. with an inspirational opening ceremony at Stude Park. Participants then walked 26.2 miles through the Houston area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by supporters. AVON 39 participants spent Saturday night at Rice University’s Basecamp 39, which featured pink two-person tents, hot showers, meals, medical services, and entertainment and leisure activities. New elements to the campgrounds include Primetime 39, an evening entertainment showcase featuring several bands, assorted games, and a Q&A panel discussion with Dr. Alyssa Rieber, an oncologist at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

On Sunday, April 24, after completing the final 13.1 miles, participants joined family and friends to celebrate their achievement at a finish festival and closing ceremony back at Stude Park at 2:00 p.m. During the ceremony, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade awarded grants to Texas breast cancer organizations. A DJ was onsite as participants crossed the finish line and received finisher metals as a new keepsake of their accomplishment.

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 Washington DC (April 30-May 1); Chicago (June 4-5); 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 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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