Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Lurie Cancer Center Receives $800,000 from Avon Walk Chicago

Grant Will Provide Access to Breast Care for Low-Income Women and Support Breast Cancer Research  

The 12th annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season continued with the Avon Walk in Chicago this month, raising $4.7 million to accelerate breast cancer research, improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment, and educate people about breast cancer. The Avon Walk Chicago attracted 2,200 participants from 36 states and Washington D.C., as well as Canada, the U.K. and Ireland.

The Lurie Cancer Center, home of an Avon Foundation Breast Care Center of Excellence and the Avon Breast Cancer Research Laboratories, received two grants totaling 800,000. The first grant, for $500,000 will support access-to-care programs through the Erie Family Health Center and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as well as a research project focused on obesity, and whether it is a potential risk factor for breast cancer. The second, a research grant for $300,000, will support research on a new drug target related to breast cancer metastasis.

During the Closing Ceremony at Soldier Field Stadium Green, Trish Russo, a three-time breast cancer survivor and three-time Avon Walker, candidly shared her breast cancer journey with fellow walkers, volunteers, family and friends, and described why the Avon Walk is so important to her. “I’ve always loved movies. I even received my MFA in producing for film back in my 20s – and married a screenwriter! Little did I know that I’d be the main character in my very own epic story that includes a bit of drama and a lot of suspense. Six months after turning 30, I felt a lump that my doctors told me was nothing at first, but in a typical plot twist, turned out to be terrifying: a diagnosis of aggressive breast cancer that had spread to my brain,” Russo said. “Though my journey has been tough, I just got to walk 39.3 miles with the most amazing community of passionate people in the world. Someday our hard work will lead to a cure, and then we’ll roll the credits and we’ll all celebrate our happy ending together.”

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