The 11th annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season continued with the Avon Walk in Chicago this weekend, raising more than $5.2 million to advance access to care and funding breast cancer prevention and treatment research. The Avon Walk Chicago attracted 2,400 participants from 40 states and Washington D.C., as well as Canada and Bermuda. Additionally, 292 breast cancer survivors and 379 men joined together to raise life-saving funds and awareness for breast cancer.
The Lurie Cancer Center, home of an Avon Foundation Breast Care Center of Excellence and the Avon Breast Cancer Research Laboratories, received a grant for $750,000. The grant will provide access to breast care for low-income women at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Erie Family Health Center. It will also support three research projects to identify new therapies to fight breast cancer and lower breast cancer risk.
Marc Hurlbert, executive director of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, announced during the Closing Ceremony a total of $2.37 million in grants to eight local organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the community. “One thing that sets the Avon Walk apart is that participants get to see their hard work pay off right away,” said Hurlbert.
During the Closing Ceremony at Soldier Field Stadium Green, Kymberly Reynolds of Chicago, an 11-month breast cancer survivor, shared her battle with breast cancer with fellow Avon Walkers, Crew, family and friends: “I knew I had the strength to face breast cancer and beat it,” said Reynolds. “My diagnosis encouraged me to look at my family tree, leading me to undergo genetic testing, which came back positive for the BRCA gene. Throughout my experience, the strength I found within opened my eyes to all of those who don’t have access to the resources I did, and that is why I walk. That is why we all walk – to raise money for people in need.”