FNIH Receives Grant Awarded at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

The Foundation for the NIH Receives One of Nine Grants Awarded at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

BETHESDA, MD, May 3, 2011 — The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) announced receiving one of the nine grants awarded at the Avon Walk in Washington, D.C. this past weekend, all in support of breast cancer research and care.

The ninth annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season continued with the Avon Walk in Washington, D.C., which raised more than $5 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. The Avon Walk Washington, D.C. — the second of nine Avon Walks this year — attracted more than 2,200 participants from 47 states, including 215 breast cancer survivors, who joined together to raise life-saving funds and awareness for breast cancer.

FNIH received a grant in the amount of $150,000 in support of the FNIH Biomarker Consortium breast cancer clinical trial, I-SPY 2. Today most women with breast cancer receive standard chemotherapy, but while some breast cancers respond well to standard chemotherapy, others do not. I-SPY 2 is a groundbreaking clinical trial which looks to predict therapeutic responses to drugs. This trial will help researchers learn more quickly which investigational drugs will be most beneficial for women with certain tumor characteristics. I-SPY 2 will also test the idea of tailoring treatments to help identify which patients should be treated with which investigational drugs.

The large-scale trial involves a unique collaboration by scientists from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), FDA, and nearly 20 major cancer research centers across the country, including Georgetown University. Dr. Sonia Pearson-White, former FNIH Biomarker Consortium Scientific Program Manager, Oncology, attended the event alongside Dr. Minetta Liu, Director of Translational Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and I-SPY 2 lead for the Georgetown site. Dr. Liu accepted the award on behalf of the program.

“The announcement of the award to the FNIH for I-SPY 2 was nicely explained during a very moving and inspiring closing ceremony,” said Dr. Pearson-White. “This grant will contribute to helping researchers find treatments for a disease that impacts so many lives.”

Carol Kurzig, president of the Avon Foundation for Women, announced during the Closing Ceremony a total of $3.14 million in grants to nine local organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the community. More grants are slated to be awarded throughout the year to breast cancer programs nationwide. “The dollars you raised are going to do a lot of good right here in the D.C. area, right now,” said Kurzig. “Our beneficiaries represent organizations that offer life-saving services to patients, regardless of their ability to pay. They’re doing cutting-edge research to find better treatments, prevention strategies, and ultimately a cure. These new grants will literally help them save lives.”

Following are the Washington, D.C., grants announced at the Closing Ceremony:


  • Foundation for the National Institutes of Health received $150,000 to support I-Spy 2, a ground breaking study that will test new, individually targeted breast cancer therapies in patients diagnosed with localized, aggressive cancers.
  • Georgetown University received $750,000 in the form of two grants. The first grant will support Avon’s signature patient care program in the District, the Capital Breast Care Center, and the second grant will fund a research project to develop a blood test for the early detection of breast cancer.
  • Johns Hopkins University, an Avon Comprehensive Breast Cancer Care Center of Excellence, received $750,000 to support access to care and cutting edge research at the Avon Center at Johns Hopkins.
  • National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund received $600,000 to continue Project LEAD, a program that trains breast cancer survivors and advocates to serve as advisors and advocate for research and funding programs. Through Avon support, more than 1,300 advocates have already been trained.
  • George Washington University received $400,000 in the form of two grants. One grant will support its Mobile Mammography Campaign for Breast Health in Anacostia while the second grant will support a research project led by Dr. Patricia Berg to develop a new test to assess risk of breast cancer.
  • Food and Friends received $250,000 to support its Avon Pink Ribbon Delivery Program, which provides breast cancer patients and their families with specialized nutrition support and delivered meals.
  • Meritus Healthcare received $115,000 to support a patient navigation program for underserved women from rural Washington County.
  • University of Maryland Baltimore received $75,000 to support the Baltimore City Breast Cancer Patient Navigator Program.
  • Winchester Medical Center received $50,000 to support patient navigation for underserved women and men in Virginia, West Virginia and western Maryland.
  • For more information about the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer please visit: avonwalk.org


For more information about I-SPY2 please visit: fnih.org


About the Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $800 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on 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. Avon also responds generously to provide support for relief and recovery efforts in times of major natural disasters and emergencies.

About the Foundation for the NIH
Established by the United States Congress to support the mission of the NIH—improving health through scientific discovery in the search for cures—the Foundation for the NIH is a leader in identifying and addressing complex scientific and health issues. The Foundation is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization that raises private-sector funds for a broad portfolio of unique programs that complement and enhance NIH priorities and activities. For additional information about the Foundation for the NIH, please visit www.fnih.org

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