Local Organization Recognized With Support From National Program
The Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund has awarded a $60,000 one-year grant to the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer and facilitate the provision of free mammograms to medically underserved women in Southeast Texas. It is the first year that the program has received Avon Foundation funding to support its work on this important health issue.
The breast cancer awareness program at the “Gift of Life” will educate additional Southeast Texas women and refer them for free mammograms and clinical breast exams in their own communities. The vital program currently annually provides nearly 1,500 free mammograms to medically underserved Southeast Texas women, with 750 receiving clinical breast exams and mammograms on the University of Texas Medical Branch’s mobile mammography van, and 750 through partnerships with the local UTMB clinics and Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospitals. Over 13,600 women have received free mammograms since the “Gift of Life’s” inception in 1994.
Since 1998, the “Gift of Life” Program’s Sidney “Chief” Dauphin Educational Outreach Program has reached more than 52,000 individuals with information about the importance of early detection of breast, prostate, and testicular cancer, through more than 50 annual presentations at churches, schools, and clubs, and participation at community health fairs.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the U.S. and the leading single cause of death overall in women between the ages of 40 and 55. According to the American Cancer Society, 12,120 new cases of breast cancer will be detected in Texas this year and 2,480 lives will be lost. Nationwide, there is a new diagnosis every three minutes and a death from breast cancer every fourteen minutes. While advances have been made in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure, early detection still affords the best opportunity for successful treatment. Programs such as the “Gift of Life” help ensure that all women have access to early detection information and options, even poor and medically underserved women.
“We are proud that the Avon Foundation shares our mission and has chosen to support our program. With these funds, we will be able to further our healthcare campaign to provide lifesaving screenings to medically underserved individuals and expand program services in Southeast Texas,” says Norma Sampson, “Gift of Life” Public Affairs Coordinator.
Since 1993, the Avon Foundation has awarded more than 1,000 grants to community-based breast health programs across the United States, including the “Gift of Life” Program. These programs are dedicated to educating underserved women about breast cancer and linking them to early detection screening services.
The Avon Foundation and Breast Cancer Crusade
The Avon Foundation, an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and their families. Now past the half century milestone, the Foundation brings this mission to life through the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program and the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which raises funds and awareness to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer, with a focus on the medically underserved. Since 1992 the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has raised and awarded more than $525 million worldwide for medical research; access to care; support services; screening and diagnostics; and education and awareness. The largest fundraising program in the U.S. is the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series.
The Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund
The Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund is administered by Cicatelli Associates Inc. to support community-based, non-profit breast health programs across the country. The Fund’s National Advisory Board selected the “Gift of Life” as one of 143 new grant recipients nationwide in the 2008 cycle of Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund grants. These organizations were chosen based on their ability to effectively reach women, particularly minority, low-income, and older women, who are often medically underserved.
For more Information
For more information on the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program, please call 409-833-3663 or toll free at 1-877-720-GIFT (4438). For more information about breast cancer, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or www.cancer.org, or the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4-CANCER or www.cancer.gov.
To learn more about the Avon Foundation, call 1-866-505-AVON or visit www.avonfoundation.org, where you can also access the free printable Breast Health Resource Guide in English and Spanish. For information or to register or support the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer events, visit www.avonwalk.org or call 1-888-540-WALK.