Lurie Cancer Center Receives $1,050,000 From Avon Foundation
The sixth annual Avon Walk Chicago was an overwhelming success with 4,000 participants drawn from 40 states, including 289 breast cancer survivors, who joined together to raise lifesaving funds and awareness for breast cancer. At the event’s Closing Ceremony at Soldier Field, Carol Kurzig, Executive Director of the Avon Foundation, announced a total of $4,750,000 in initial grants awarded to local organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the community. More grants are slated to be awarded throughout the year to breast cancer programs nationwide. “We are thrilled with the continued success of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Chicago in this, our sixth year,” stated Kurzig. “The Chicago Walk is always one of our largest events, and the ongoing support and generosity of the participants and the community allows us to make substantial new grants that will benefit those facing breast cancers in Illinois, across the region and country.”
The seven initial new grants awarded by the Avon Foundation have special meaning for Chicago. Last year, the Avon Foundation announced its commitment to understand and help correct breast health disparities: why more minority women than white women die of breast cancer, which is worse in Chicago than the national average and in other large cities. The Chicago medical community formed the Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force working group in 2007, which issued recommendations in October, and among the funders was the Avon Foundation. The grants awarded at the Avon Walk Chicago help support these recommendations.
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University received $1,050,000 for research and access to care: To support access to breast care for medically underserved populations at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Erie Family Health Center as well as research at the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Research Laboratories focused on identifying markers for breast cancer prevention and treatment response, and characterizing molecular mechanisms of breast cancer growth, survival and metastasis. The grant was accepted by Seema Khan, MD, Co-Leader of the Breast Cancer Program.
About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
The Avon Walk Chicago is a noncompetitive event in which women and men had a choice of walking a marathon (26.2 miles) or a marathon and a half (39.3 miles) over the weekend. The event kicked off Saturday, May 31, with an inspirational early morning Opening Ceremony at Soldier Field. Following the Ceremony, walkers began their journey, traveling through the greater Chicago area and concluding at the Avon Walk “Wellness Village” at Warren Park, a “tent city” complete with two-person tents, hot showers, prepared meals, entertainment, and recreational activities such as the Reebok sneaker personalization station and the Fiji Water pink carpet photo program. On Sunday, June 1, walkers completed another 13.1 miles together, ending back at Soldier Field where they were greeted by thousands of family and friends who shared in a celebratory and moving Closing Ceremony, including the awarding of initial new grants.