WASHINGTON – A team of volunteers and patients representing Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center laced up again this year for the two-day, 39.3-mile Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, May 4-5 in Washington. The Georgetown Lombardi/Capital Breast Care Center team raised more than $145,000 for the walk.
At the closing ceremony Sunday, Avon presented a $250,000 check to support Capital Breast Care Center (CBCC) – one of several grants Avon awarded to local organizations to help support their breast cancer screening and education efforts.
Located in southeast D.C., CBCC is a community-based arm of Georgetown Lombardi that offers breast health services to underserved women, regardless of their ability to pay.
"Avon's support is vital in our quest to eliminate screening barriers for women in our community,” says CBCC Executive Director Wanda Lucas, MBA, who accepted the check on behalf of the team. “Avon has fostered our ability to make an impact on women’s lives. Knowing that Avon has shared and supported our mission since 2004 means the world to both our patients and staff."
The Avon Foundation has been one of CBCC’s biggest supporters since it provided an initial grant of $1 million to establish the center in 2004, and has supported CBCC since then with over $8 million in funding.
Team captain Jeanne Mandelblatt, MD, MPH, associate director for population sciences at Georgetown Lombardi and founding director of CBCC, completed her 14th Avon walk this weekend. She says her reasons for walking haven’t wavered.
“I walk every year for two very important reasons: first, to let Avon know how much their support means to us, and second, and most importantly, so that our patients know that they are not alone. We are walking with them every step of the way,” she says.
The Georgetown team is among the largest each year in the annual walk and has grown exponentially over the years. Having started five years ago with just a handful of walkers, this year the team consisted of 70 men and women who have trained together regularly for months. Many in the group gather weekly for training walks that have taken them all over the District, Maryland, and Virginia.
“We all share a commitment to making a difference,” says Mandelblatt. “We also shared Band-Aids for blisters, snacks, and stories over the course of the 170 miles we walked to prepare for the walk, bringing home our team motto ‘No one walks alone’,” says Mandelblatt.
The team also received a big boost this year from MedStar Health, which pledged $10,000 to sponsor the team. MedStar Health is Georgetown Lombardi’s clinical partner that provides clinical services to CBCC’s patients.
“MedStar Health’s support of the Georgetown Lombardi team is very meaningful,” said Louis M. Weiner, MD, director of the cancer center. “It underscores our shared dedication to promoting regular breast screening and healthy habits, engaging in community-based research to better understand barriers to care and ensuring that we can provide top quality care to all women in our area who need medical care. We are grateful for MedStar Health’s partnership in battling breast cancer in the D.C. region.”
About Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Georgetown Lombardi is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute (grant #P30 CA051008), and the only one in the Washington, DC area. For more information, go to http://lombardi.georgetown.edu.
About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical Translation and Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.