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Avon Walk in Houston Sets New Standard

Participants in the third annual Avon Walk in Houston, a noncompetitive walk that aims to save lives, came from 33 states. Photo by Sylvia Garza.

More than 1,000 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer participants gathered at Stude Park in Houston April 10-11, clad in walking shoes and pink and white shirts and ready to walk for a common goal: to raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer. After 39.3 miles, they had raised more than $2 million.

The Avon Foundation for Women immediately awarded more than $1.4 million in grants to six local organizations, with MD Anderson receiving more than $730,000, including $605,000 in grants for two major projects.

The first grant will fund a research study aimed at better understanding the earliest changes in breast cells that may lead to cancer. The second grant will go toward the purchase of equipment upgrades for a mobile mammography van that provides breast cancer screening for Houston’s underserved and uninsured population.

The foundation also awarded a $127,645 grant to MD Anderson’s Virginia Harris Cockrell Cancer Research Center, Science Park-Research Division, in Smithville, Texas. The grant will further a prevention study of analyzing markers in blood and breast tissue associated with risk factors for breast cancer. The study also will develop a test strip similar to a pregnancy test strip for detecting early breast cancer.

“The Avon Foundation for Women is thrilled we could award more than $1.4 million in grants to six Texas organizations,” says Marc Hurlbert, director of the Avon Foundation for Women Breast Cancer Crusade. “MD Anderson is one of the leading cancer clinical and research organizations in the world and is changing the course of breast cancer.”

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center