April 15, 2003

Moores UCSD Cancer Center Supports New Avon Walk in L.A.

On September 6 and 7, thousands of women and men will take personal steps to help fund access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer by participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Los Angeles. The event is one of eight in Avon's new national series of weekend fundraising walks taking place this year.*

The Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center is a beneficiary of similar fund-raising initiatives of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and is participating in the Los Angeles event by holding walker registration days in San Diego and providing breast health information at the event.

With a $500,000 gift from the Avon Foundation last year, the Cancer Center launched a breast cancer education, risk assessment and prevention program built upon its existing cancer prevention programs in clinical cancer genetics and diet intervention. Recruitment efforts are focused on recruiting women from African American, Asian and Hispanic communities in San Diego, although any interested woman is welcome to participate. The program includes breast cancer risk assessment, a clinical breast exam and a screening or diagnostic mammogram, familial cancer risk assessment and genetic counseling, nutritional assessment, and diet intervention. The clinical research component of the program is directed toward identifying specific inherited and acquired genetic risk factors associated with breast cancer.

ABOUT THE AVON WALKS

The new Avon Walks build on the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade's decade-long commitment to raising funds and awareness for the breast cancer cause. In 10 years, the Avon Crusade has raised $250 million worldwide, with funds awarded for breast cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, support services and scientific research, including prevention and therapeutic vaccine studies.

The Avon Walks are non-competitive and have been structured for all fitness levels. Participants can choose to walk a marathon (26.2 miles) or a marathon and a half (39.1 miles) over the two days to raise funds and awareness for the breast cancer cause.

Each walk starts early on Saturday morning with an inspiring opening ceremony before the participants begin traveling the route. The first day ends at the Wellness Village, their home-away-from-home for the night. Here, walkers will find an assortment of activities, including education on breast cancer and other health and wellness issues, yoga, stretching and entertainment. The village also provides the essentials to keep participants comfortable, including two-person sleeping tents, hot showers, prepared meals and comprehensive medical services. A section of the Wellness Village is open to visits from friends, family and members of the surrounding local communities.

On Sunday, all walkers complete the final 13.1-mile route, returning to their point of origin and culminating in a closing ceremony celebration. Throughout the weekend, a dedicated all-volunteer crew cares for the walkers, ensuring their safety and supporting their needs.

Each participating walker is required to raise a minimum of $1,750 for the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade. Upon registration, walkers are assigned a Walker Buddy to support them in fundraising, training and just about everything else they'll need to prepare for the event. Participants also have access to regularly scheduled walks for training, discounts from local merchants for equipment and services, fundraising materials and other special programs. Funds donated to the walk are managed and disbursed by the Avon Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

AVON FOUNDATION & BREAST CANCER CRUSADE

The Avon Foundation (www.avonfoundation.org) was founded in 1955 with a mission to improve the lives of women and their families. The Foundation supports programs that provide economic opportunity and physical and emotional well being in the U.S. and around the world.

The Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade was launched in the U.S. in 1993 with a mission to fund access to care and to find a cure for breast cancer. The focus is on reaching medically underserved women including minorities, the poor, elderly, and under - and uninsured women.

To register to walk or crew, or to pledge financial support for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, visit www.avonwalk.org or call 1-877-WALK AVON for more information. To learn more about the Avon Foundation, visit www.avonfoundation.org.

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*In addition to the Los Angeles event, walks have been planned for the following cities: Washington, DC, April 26-27; Boston, MA, May 3-4; Cincinnati, OH, May 17-18; Chicago, IL, June 7-8; San Francisco, CA, June 28-29; Portland, OR, July 12-13; and, New York, NY, September 20-21.

News Media Contact:
Nancy Stringer
619-543-6163
nstringer@ucsd.edu

UCSD Health Sciences Communications HealthBeat: http://health.ucsd.edu/news/