BCRC Receives National Grant from Avon for Metastatic Breast Cancer Support

We are thrilled to announce that BCRC has received its first national grant that will allow us to continue and expand our services for women facing metastatic breast cancer! The program, run by Pfizer Inc. and the Avon Foundation for Women, granted a total of $1 million to 23 organizations nationwide to support and educate more than 5,000 metastatic breast cancer patients, their caregivers, and their communities.

Meghan JonesWe could not have reached this incredible milestone without the hard work and dedication of Development team, specifically our talented Grants Manager, Meghan Jones (pictured left). Meghan has been working in the nonprofit sector for more than 10 years. Since joining our Development team in January 2013, she has helped BCRC win twelve grant awards, totaling over $500,000 in program and operational funding.

Metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced stage of breast cancer and occurs when cancer spreads beyond the breast to other parts of the body, including the bones, lungs, liver and brain. Nearly three in 10 women who have had early breast cancer will eventually develop metastatic disease. There are no cures currently available, and continuous treatment is needed to control the spread of the disease and its symptoms.

“To date, the majority of public attention on and funding for breast cancer has centered on early-stage disease – such as screening strategies and survivorship – not on late-stage diagnosis. As a result, the Avon-Pfizer Metastatic Grants Program was established to address the gaps in support available to women and men living with metastatic disease, and to create new services for metastatic patients so they do not have to face this disease alone. Our hope is that one day, all patients can access the unique care and support services they need, regardless of their ability to pay.” ” – Marc Hurlbert, executive director of the Avon Foundation for Women Breast Cancer Crusade. “

BCRC remains the only organization in Central Texas to focus our services on individuals affected by breast cancer. In 2002, our insight and familiarity with the needs of our clients allowed us to pioneer one of the first metastatic breast cancer support groups in the nation. These much needed services have expanded and grown over the past 13 years; now we have a special support community designed specifically for women under 45, one-on-one patient navigation tailored to the needs of those facing stage IV cancer, and community outreach and education programs.

“What I want people to learn about [metastatic breast cancer] is that it is a lifelong deal – it has nothing to do with being brave, strong and courageous and has everything to do with the people that surround you with hope, love, and faith” – Carol, BCRC Client

These support communities provide much more than a place to share feelings – indeed they are a source of safety, strength and empowerment for these individuals. We strive to provide long-term support and address the gaps in services for metastatic breast cancer patients.

“Through the IV League Support Group, we are able to laugh and cry together, celebrate the blessing of our lives and families, and support one another through doubt, suffering, and loss” – Christina Duhon, BCRC Client

What makes grant so special?

This grant provides us the opportunity to grow and further tailor our services to better benefit this special community. We will now have the opportunity to create a comprehensive, reliable, and trustworthy information book designed specifically for the needs of women living with a stage IV diagnosis using our Breast Cancer Companion as a template. This Companion will become an easy to access reference guide on all things pertaining to the diagnosis, including medical terminology, treatment descriptions, practitioner lists, as well as informational segments on various topics such as in-depth strategies for coping. We will add a special session to our existing client education series specific to the metastatic community. This grant will also allow us to expand on our financial assistance program as well as collaborate with another local nonprofit to provide additional transportation services to and from treatment appointments.

We are honored to receive this grant, our first from a national entity! We strive to further close these gaps in services and provide all of the support, education, and navigation these clients need.

About Pfizer Oncology
Pfizer Oncology is committed to the discovery, investigation and development of innovative treatment options to improve the outlook for cancer patients worldwide. Our strong pipeline of biologics and small molecules, one of the most robust in the industry, is studied with precise focus on identifying and translating the best scientific breakthroughs into clinical application for patients across a wide range of cancers. By working collaboratively with academic institutions, individual researchers, cooperative research groups, governments, and licensing partners, Pfizer Oncology strives to cure or control cancer with breakthrough medicines, to deliver the right drug for each patient at the right time. For more information, please visit www.Pfizer.com.

About the Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women is the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women. Since its inception in 1955, the Avon Foundation has promoted or aided charitable, scientific, educational, and humanitarian activities, with a special emphasis on activities that improve the lives of women and their families. Through 2013, Avon global philanthropy, led by the Avon Foundation, has donated more than $957 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses on funding breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Visit www.avonfoundation.org for more information.

About the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade
The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which launched in 1992 and is led by the U.S.-based Avon Foundation for Women, has placed Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women at the forefront of the fight against breast cancer; today, Avon is the leading corporate supporter of the cause globally. Avon breast cancer programs in more than 50 countries have donated more than $815 million for research and advancing access to care, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. Avon awards funding to beneficiaries ranging from leading cancer centers to community-based grassroots breast health programs to support breast cancer research and access to care. The Crusade has enabled more than 18 million women globally to receive free mammograms and breast cancer screenings, educated more than 145 million women about breast cancer, and funded promising research into the causes of breast cancer and ways to prevent the disease. The Avon Foundation raises funds for the Crusade through the sale of Avon “Pink Ribbon” products.

For more on metastatic breast cancer, please feel free to read some of our recent blog posts from BCRC clients and medical practitioners. 

The IV League – My Lifeline

Young and Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer

To be a Husband of a Woman with Metastatic Cancer

Palliative Care – Live Better

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