Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Knowing Your Risk and Taking Action
By Kara Eldridge, Operations Manager, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer – Washington, DC
In October, folks across America and the world will be enveloped in a sea of pink. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is here, and there are so many ways to help, get involved and take action in your own workplace.
After losing my mother to breast cancer in 2000 I knew I wanted to be a bigger part of these initiatives. Twelve years later I find myself in Washington, D.C. as the Operations Manager for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer helping women and men fundraise and train for a 39.3 mile journey over just two days.
This is a series of weekend fundraising events in support of the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade. Since its founding in 1992, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has raised and awarded more than $700 million worldwide for access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer, with a focus on the medically underserved. Funding supports five key areas:
- awareness and education
- screening and diagnosis
- support services
- scientific research.
The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has raised and awarded more than $700 million worldwide for access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer with a focus on the medically underserved.
The 2013 Avon Walk series takes place in eight cities from April through October, with the Washington DC event taking place May 4th and 5th. (The 2012 Avon Walk Washington DC raised over $5 million!) Avon Walk participants work hard all season to train for this marathon walk – a distance of 26.2 miles or 39.3 miles and will fundraise at least $1,800 in order to participate. Preparing for this event is no easy task, and walkers require a variety of goods and services to help them along the way.
Participants come back again and again to be a part of this tight community, whether it’s as a walker, crew member or volunteering. It has been remarkable to see people from all walks of life come together to support one cause for one weekend out of the year.
At the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer we want to encourage women and men all over the world to be proactive and know your risks when it comes to breast cancer health and pre-screening. Startling statistics come out year after year and while we continue to advance research we must still look for a cure and help those in our community who are uninsured and underserved.
A few facts you may not know:
- Every 3 minutes another woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Every 14 minutes someone loses their life to this disease
- An estimated 39,520 women and 450 men will die this year alone
- There are more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the US
- The survival rate when breast cancer is detected early is 97%.
- The Avon Foundation for Women has been a resource and force behind these impressive results.
Encourage employees and staff to take action!
October is the perfect time to encourage employees and staff to take action in a number of ways:
- Help spread awareness for the cause. Choose one day or even a week to wear pink or even a breast cancer ribbon. Most local organizations can provide these. Just call and ask.
- Fundraise for a local breast cancer organization. Allow staff to dress down every Friday in the month of October for $5. Donate all of the proceeds to the non-profit of your choice.
- Volunteer at a local breast cancer event as a business. Local groups are always looking for assistance and this is a great way to employees to get together and make a difference.
- Start a team and participate in a local event. Rest assured there are activities happening every weekend in the month of October to raise awareness and much needed funds. Bring your staff together and run or walk a 5K.
- Become a partner with a breast cancer organization. Non-profit organizations are always looking for businesses to come on board as sponsors or to provide Matching Gifts (employees make a donation that employer will match that gift in full).
There are endless opportunities and countless resources to learn more and help in the fight!