Avon and Valero help extend Gift of Life mission

Gift of Life Program Services Manager Christina Morris, RN provides healthy life

The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program has awarded a $50,000 one-year grant to The Julie Rogers Gift of Life Program to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer. It is the seventh year that the program has received funding from the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade to support its work on this important health issue, and in recognition of the program’s excellence.

The Gift of Life Women’s Breast Health & Wellness Program will educate Southeast Texas women and provide them with free mammograms and clinical breast exams in their own communities. The program will also provide diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies with access to cancer treatment for medically underserved women. Additional client services include primary care screenings with on-site educators offering cancer awareness and healthy lifestyle information and materials to reduce the risk of disease.

“The Gift of Life is honored by Avon’s support of its mission to save lives through strategic collaborations that champion preventative healthcare and our organization’s ‘no-cost’ medical services. Our program advances regional medical and educational initiatives that directly impact the health and well-being of Southeast Texans in our seven-county service area. The much-needed and appreciated award by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade will further our lifesaving efforts and reduce countywide health disparities,” said Gift of Life Executive Director Norma Sampson.

Since 1993, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has awarded more than 1,800 grants to community-based breast health programs across the United States, including the Gift of Life Women’s Breast Health & Wellness Program. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade 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. Many programs are dedicated to educating underserved women about breast cancer and linking them to early detection screening services. 

The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program is administered by Cicatelli Associates Inc. to support community-based, non-profit breast health programs across the country. The Fund’s National Advisory Board selected the Gift of Life Women’s Breast Health & Wellness Program as one of 56 new grant recipients nationwide in the 2016 cycle of Avon Breast Health Outreach Program grants. These organizations were chosen based on their ability to effectively reach women, particularly minority, low-income, and older women, who are often medically underserved.

Visit avonbhop.org for more information.

Valero helps provide health screenings for Port Arthur women

Through the support of Valero Port Arthur Refinery, 34 medically underserved Southeast Texas women recently received free Gift of Life clinical breast exams, mammograms and primary care screenings at Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church in Port Arthur.

Valero Public Affairs Manager Barbara Phillips attended the site to warmly welcome clients, who expressed appreciation for Valero’s benevolent sponsorship.

“Today I had my first mammogram,” said one Gift of Life client. “I’m so thankful for the support this program offers the community.”

At the site, the Gift of Life enlisted the UTMB Mobile Mammography Van and the Port Arthur Health Department as providers in the delivery of free breast cancer screenings and preventative health tests, including blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol. Education regarding breast cancer, skin cancer, tobacco prevention and nutrition was also made available to encourage healthy lifestyle practices that reduce the risk of disease.

The charitable support of Valero Port Arthur Refinery illuminates the company’s commitment to helping enhance healthcare services for residents who cannot afford medical care or insurance.

Since 2002, Valero Port Arthur Refinery has championed the Gift of Life’s mission of saving lives by sponsoring both breast and prostate cancer screenings. Through its commitment to the cause, the company has made available more than 600 Gift of Life free clinical breast exams and mammograms and extended the lives of four women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at Valero-sponsored sites and provided access to treatment.

Through the continued sponsorship of corporations like Valero and Avon, the Gift of Life has been able to provide at-risk women with the free essential health and cancer screenings, diagnostic testing and access to cancer treatment, in addition to transportation, childcare and translation services for those who encounter additional barriers to care.

Since inception, the Gift of Life has helped extend the lives of more than 275 Southeast Texans who have been diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer and treated through its efforts with the assistance of generous donors.

For information regarding the program’s free breast and prostate cancer screenings or to learn more about volunteer opportunities, call Gift of Life at (409) 860-3369 or toll-free at (877) 720-GIFT (4438).