Avon Foundation Continues Commitment to Breast Cancer Cause

The discovery of more accurate methods of diagnosing breast cancer is just one of the critical areas of the breast cancer cause that will benefit from nearly $30 million in grants announced last night by the Avon Foundation during the Avon Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer Concert & Awards. The thirteen new grants will fund a comprehensive range of programs at leading public health agencies, national cancer centers and community-based organizations. The funds were raised by the programs of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, whose mission is funding access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer.

The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade supports virtually every facet of the cause by funding five critical areas: breast cancer biomedical research, clinical care, support services, education and early detection programs. Gifts from the Avon Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, are unique in their focus on medically underserved women, including those who are low-income, elderly, minority, underinsured and uninsured. This focus encompasses education and outreach, state-of-the-art clinical care and specific inclusion of underserved women in research studies.

“According to the 2002 Avon Women’s Health Survey, women continue to report breast cancer as a critical health concern,” stated Andrea Jung, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avon Products, Inc. “While great progress has been made, there remains a great need for breast cancer funding, and we are proud to play our part as a company committed to women. Avon is dedicated to helping find a cure for breast cancer while providing access to quality care for all.”

The grants were announced last night at the first-ever Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer Concert & Awards at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City. Natalie Cole headlined the concert, which raised more than $2 million for the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. In the awards ceremony, Avon honored five organizations and individuals for extraordinary contributions to the breast cancer cause. The event celebrated the 10th year of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade and helped Avon reach its goal of $250 million in total funds raised worldwide by the end of 2002.

Among the thirteen grants is a $4.1 million gift to create the Avon-ACRIN (American College of Radiology Imaging Network) “Partnership for Better Breast Imaging” to fund a two-year fellowship for a board-certified radiologist to train in the field of breast imaging. Funds will also be utilized for a trial to evaluate Breast Ultrasound as a breast cancer screening tool in high-risk women.

Another grant recipient, which has been previously funded by the Avon Foundation, is the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund (NBCCF), which will receive $2.4 million to expand the Project LEAD (Leadership, Education and Advocacy Training) program. Project LEAD provides training seminars for breast cancer advocates on scientific, medical and legislative developments to enable them to better serve the breast cancer community.

“This new funding enables the National Breast Cancer Coalition to continue to educate advocates on the science of breast cancer and effective advocacy, leading to better breast care and medical research,” said Fran Visco, President of the NBCC. “As a result of this generous gift from Avon, more women will directly benefit from better care and advanced research.”

Cicatelli Associates/Avon Breast Care Fund was awarded a grant of $8 million to continue and expand existing community-based programs that provide breast cancer education and access to low-cost or no-cost screening services to underserved women. The funding will enable the Fund to increase its support to 115 programs, which adheres to Avon’s mission of reaching communities nationwide.

Additional grants that comprise the nearly $30 million total include:

Avon-CDC Foundation (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation) “Mobile Access Program”

The grant of more than $4 million will fund at least four mammography vans for existing local and state screening programs for medically underserved women through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Global Breast Cancer Education and Research Initiative

The $2.785 million grant will support an historic Avon Foundation-AACR Global Collaborative in breast cancer research and education among scientists and survivor-advocates in the U.S., Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia, with particular focus on young scientists.

Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization

The $2.5 million grant expands the Y-Me support of Latina, Chinese and Vietnamese women. The programs will educate these underserved women and link them directly to screening; assist women who have abnormal screening results in obtaining proper follow-up care; provide translation services; expand the Y-Me husband/partner hotline; and expand the Y-Me teen program, which trains high school seniors in early detection and encourages them to educate their families and neighbors.

Avon Breast Cancer Therapeutic Vaccine Initiative

A grant of $2.5 million will integrate the resources of the Fred Hutchinson Comprehensive Cancer Center in Seattle and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore to develop a comprehensive, clinically-oriented program in cell-based breast cancer vaccine therapy and other approaches to immunotherapy treatment.

Cancer Research Institute (CRI)

The $250,000 grant will support a unique, intensive research project focusing on the search for antigens, critical molecules for vaccine development.

Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Meditation and Healing Project - A $250,000 grant will support research evaluating the effectiveness of meditation-based stress reduction and cognitive-affective-behavioral learning in helping women with breast cancer decrease suffering, reduce disability and improve quality of life.

Cancer Research Network

The $150,000 gift will support the formation of a research agenda and pilot studies in complementary care for breast cancer patients, including herbal therapy for chemo-induced nausea, herbal therapy with anti-tumor capacities and a trial to evaluate therapeutic options for chemo-induced cognitive disorders.

New York Presbyterian Hospital

Avon Women’s Health Scholar - A grant of $150,000 will provide partial salary for a “scholar” focusing on the development and dissemination of a disease prevention program, with a focus on cancer risk reduction in the Washington Heights area of New York City.

The Children’s Treehouse Foundation

The $95,000 grant will fund development of a program training module and pilot support group for children of women with breast cancer in the Denver area, to be expanded to other cities in the future.

Howard University Cancer Center

This $50,000 grant will support a research project on familial breast cancer, mammography use and psychological distress among black women.

Avon Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer Awards

The Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer Awards honored individuals and corporations who have led the fight against breast cancer in a range of areas, and a special “Pink Ribbon Crusader” Award went to a Avon District Sales Manager as the top Avon Breast Cancer “Crusader” in the United States. Honorees included:

Medical Advancement
Craig Jordan, OBE, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Director of the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Research Program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University
Chicago, Illinois
Community Advocacy
Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization
Margaret Kirk, Chief Executive Officer
Chicago, Illinois
Media Leadership
The New York Times
“Pink Ribbon” Crusader
Marta Vildostegui
District Sales Manager
Miami, Florida

Avon Breast Cancer Crusade

The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade in the U.S. was launched in 1993 by Avon Products, Inc. and serves the mission to fund access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer, with a focus on reaching medically underserved women. To date the Avon Crusade in the U.S. has raised $200 million through a variety of fundraising programs to support five vital areas of the breast cancer cause: medical research, clinical care, support services, educational and advocacy seminars; and community-based, non-profit early detection breast health programs. The first Avon breast cancer program launched in the U.K. in 1992, and Avon now supports programs in nearly 50 countries around the world. For more information on supporting the Avon Crusade, log on to www.avoncrusade.com.