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Memorial Health System Breast Care Center Receives $250,000 Avon Foundation Grant

Media Contacts:

Allyson Laughlin

Susan Heaney

Event Website:
For Immediate Release: June 25, 2006

Event Website:
For Immediate Release: June 25, 2006



Denver , CO--- The 1,000 participants in this weekend’s Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Denver raised more than $2 million for access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. At today’s 3:30 pm closing ceremony at Washington Park, the Avon Foundation announced initial grants that were immediately awarded to local organizations thanks to the women and men who walked up to 39.3-miles over Saturday and Sunday.

During the Avon Walk Denver, walkers 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, June 24, with an early morning opening ceremony at Washington Park and an immediate reminder of the impact of breast cancer from Denver resident Colleen Abdoulah, a 1-year breast cancer survivor. Abdoulah spoke of her yearning to join the walkers last year at this time, as she was undergoing her last chemotherapy treatment.

“We are all blessed to have the health and capability to be here today to start a weekend of walking together,” Abdoulah said, “Too many women do not have that opportunity, and we walk for them.”

Following the inspiring opening, walkers began their journey that was supported by a volunteer crew every step of the way. Participants spent Saturday night in two-person tents in the Avon Walk “ Wellness Village” at Clement Park, complete with hot showers, prepared meals, entertainment, and comprehensive medical services. The Saturday activities were briefly interrupted by a 30-minute hailstorm of near-historic proportions, but on Sunday, June 25, all of the walkers completed another 13.1 miles, concluding with the celebratory closing ceremony back at Washington Park.

To participate in the Avon Walk Denver, each walker raised a minimum of $1,800 in donations, which will be managed and disbursed by the Avon Foundation [a 501(c)(3) public charity]. Funds raised by participants of the Avon Walks are awarded to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations to support five areas of the breast cancer cause, including awareness and education, screening and diagnosis, access to treatment, support services, and scientific research, all with a focus on the medically underserved. Donations are still accepted for the Avon Walk Denver and registration is open for the rest of the 2006 Avon Walk events at 800-510-WALK or .


The grants awarded at the close of the Avon Walk include the following:

The University of Colorado Cancer Center received $400,000 to launch the Avon Foundation’s 2006 prevention research initiative. UCCC is one of many cancer centers working in coordination on this initiative to understand how a woman’s breast changes during pregnancy and how these changes affect a woman’s risk of breast cancer. The goal is to apply this knowledge to develop new ways to prevent breast cancer for all women. To date, the UCCC has received more than $4 million from the Avon Foundation.

Colorado Springs ’ Memorial Hospital received $250,000 to purchase new equipment for its breast center and to provide support for a patient navigator who will work to reduce delays in accessing care for underserved women facing breast cancer. Memorial joins dozens of other “safety net” hospitals funded by the Avon Foundation to advance care for the medically underserved.

The Native American Cancer Research Corporation received $100,000 to support Native American patient navigators who will guide more than 100 women into mammography screening and, as needed, follow-up diagnostics and care.

The Children’s Treehouse Foundation received $100,000 to expand its programs educating doctors and nurses on the special issues children face when a parent is diagnosed with cancer. The Children’s Treehouse Foundation has been supported by the Avon Foundation since 2002.

Project Angel Heart received $75,000 to fund renovation of its kitchen and facilities as it continues to prepare and deliver meals to women fighting breast cancer and others facing serious illness. This is one of four nutritional support programs funded by the Avon Foundation nationwide.


The Avon Foundation, an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and their families. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade launched in 1992, and Avon has supported breast cancer programs in some 50 countries. While advances have been made, breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women worldwide, and in the U.S. there is a new diagnosis every three minutes. Through 2005, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade raised and awarded more than $400,000,000 worldwide for access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer, with a focus on the medically underserved. Funding supports five areas: awareness and education; screening and diagnosis; access to treatment; support services; and scientific research. Beneficiaries range from leading cancer centers to community-based non-profit breast health programs, creating a powerful international network of research, medical, social service and community-based organizations focused on defeating breast cancer and ensuring access to care. For more information, visit

The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Denver is the fourth of eight noncompetitive events for women and men of all fitness levels held throughout the US. Avon Walk cities and dates include: Washington, DC, April 29-30; Boston, MA, May 20-21; Chicago, IL, June 3-4; Denver, CO, June 24-25; San Francisco, CA, July 8-9; Los Angeles, CA, September 16-17; New York, NY, October 7-8; and Charlotte, NC, October 21-22.

The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is generously supported by National Sponsor Prevention magazine; Official Sponsors, a program of Novartis Oncology, Airplus for Her, and Reebok; Official Water FIJI; and Associate Sponsor