MWH Joins Forces With Thousands at Avon Walk 2009
At the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in mid-May, Men With Heart joined forces with 2,500 determined and dedicated walkers to strike a blow against breast cancer. MWH fielded two teams—a walking team and rest stop crew—to support participants at the 2-day, 39-mile walk.
We met hundreds of walkers as we handed out candy, Vaseline, and blister packs; as we delivered food and fluids and encouragement; as we serenaded our fellow walkers; and as we cheered every last walker through to the finish line on both days.
Included among the thousands of participants were 214 breast cancer survivors, some of whom were in the midst of their chemo or radiation treatment for their breast cancer. The courage and selflessness of these walkers was amazing and inspiring.
The Avon Boston walk raised more than $5.6 million this year, an incredible total considering the economic downturn. Six grants were made during the closing ceremonies, with more to be announced over the coming weeks. Recipients included:
• Massachusetts General Hospital: $750,000 for access to care programs at Mass. General and community clinics in Chelsea and Mattapan.
• Boston Medical Center: $549,891 for patient navigation services, community outreach, and access to care for medically underserved populations.
• University of Massachusetts Amherst: $453,282 for research projects looking at different ways etiologic factors may play a role in breast cancer.
• The Silent Spring Institute: $200,000 to support updating population breast cancer data for all Massachusetts counties into the MassHEIS environmental information system.
• Community Servings: $100,000 for serving meals to breast cancer client families and educate hundreds on proper nutrition during cancer treatment.
• Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: $100,000 for research focused on understanding how changes in healthy breast tissue alters risk of breast cancer.
Even with the Avon completed, we’ve still got big plans for 2009. For example, we’ll be fielding a large team at the Komen 3-Day walk in July. (Visit the Men with Heart Komen team page for details on the walk. In August 2009, we will be hosting the 3rd Annual Birch/Cotter Breast Cancer Regatta. We’ll also be actively supporting like-minded organizations, recruiting new members, giving out a few grants, and participating in several other breast cancer events.
Men With Heart To Be Honored by the Faulkner Hospital
MWH will be honored this fall by the Faulkner Hospital’s Sagoff Centre at their annual gala on Thursday October 22. Our team is being recognized for our efforts to help get men involved in the fight against breast cancer. This is a tremendous honor for Men With Heart as the Sagoff Centre last honored Gretchen Monahan, the nationally recognized founder of Grettacole & G-Spa, for all of her work in the fight against breast cancer. This exciting event will also showcase fashions from top students at the School of Fashion Design in Boston as they compete for the title of top designer. Each student will present a designer’s line of clothing and will compete for votes from a team of judges led by local celebrities. This Bryn Rafanelli created event takes place on at InterContinental Hotel in Boston and is bound to be a special evening.
One of the first of its kind in the nation, the Faulkner-Sagoff Centre opened in 1971. It quickly became, and continues to be, a leader in providing state-of-the-art breast cancer screening and diagnostic technology and compassionate care. The annual gala raises funds that help purchase new technology for the organization and, most importantly, support the Faulkner-Sagoff Mammography Access Program. Uninsured and underinsured women living within the Faulkner Hospital service area can receive a free annual screening mammogram through this program. If there is a positive finding, the program also pays for any further treatment and services the patient may require including biopsies, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Since its inception, the Faulkner Gala has raised nearly $6 million, enabling the hospital to enhance its mission of providing meaningful community healthcare services.
3rd Annual Breast Cancer Regatta Coming in August
The 3rd Annual Jenny Birch/Susan Snow-Cotter Memorial Regatta to Fight Breast Cancer is slated for this August on Hingham Harbor. The event features a child’s sailing regatta along with all-ages rowing races.
Sponsored by Men With Heart, the B/C Regatta honors the memories of Jenny Birch and Susan Snow-Cotter, two women who died of breast cancer within a month of each other in late 2006. Although the women never met, they had much in common: Both lived in Hingham; were avid mariners; earned a master’s degree; and had a family with two young children.
The first two editions of the B/C Regatta netted over $50,000 for breast cancer treatment and research. The funds were split evenly between the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Infusion Facility and the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.
For more information, visit www.bcregatta.org.
MWH Care Kit Update
In the last newsletter, we told you about our outreach effort to get information about Men With Heart into local hospitals. The idea is to let the husbands, sons, brothers, and friends of breast cancer survivors know about the MWH team. With the creation of the MWH Care Kit, we are making this initiative a reality. The Care Kit is made up of our new brochure, the brochure holders, and the book “Breast Cancer Husband” (written by Marc Silver, a MWH team member). We are pleased to announce our materials are on display and available at the Faulkner Hospital , two Lahey Clinic locations, and at the Mount Auburn Hospital . We are working to find other breast cancer medical facilities where we can distribute this material. If you have suggestions for distributing this material, please contact Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Komen Team Captain Spotlight
This year, in an effort to get more individuals involved in the organization of the walking teams, we have introduced the concept of team captains. This year’s Komen 3-Day Walk captain is Scott Walters. Scott walked on the original MWH team in 2002 and has since walked in 10 overnight walks. The Komen 3 Day Breast Cancer walk is July 24-26, and Scott wants you to know that it’s not too late to join what’s shaping up to be a fantastic team.
“Right now, I think we’ve got about 22 guys walking on the team depending, on last-minute additions,” said Scott. “We have a nice mix of returning veterans and new members to walk in this year’s Komen. As we prepare for the Komen, we have use the Boston Hunger Walk, the Festival of Life Walk and the North Shore Medical Center walks as forms of training. We still have five weeks before the walk—and it’s not too late to join us!
“Originally, I walked in the snow-filled Avon 3-Day in 2002 for my mother, a 14-year breast cancer survivor. It was that first walk when I realized what an incredible difference a group of motivated men can make in what is already an amazing weekend. Today, as the father of a 15-month-old son, I have a renewed determination to show the importance of giving of oneself for a cause as important as fighting breast cancer. This is going to sound goofy, but in a world filled with constantly depressing news, it is invigorating to be doing something positive. This is certainly a serious disease that brings its own depressing news, but we are making medical progress and the outlook for finding a cure is only getting better. The Komen Walk gives our team a chance to show just how much men care about fighting this disease. I hope you seriously considering joining us in this important battle.”