Avon Foundation for Women grant helps breast cancer patients

April 29, 2015

The Avon Foundation for Women (Canada) has awarded more than one million dollars in donations to breast cancer charities across Canada through its Centennial Grants program. London Health Sciences Foundation was fortunate enough to receive one of the program’s $100,000 grants to support women receiving treatment at London Health Sciences Centre’s London Regional Cancer Program.

The Avon Foundation for Women grant will support the Massel-Cruickshank Breast Cancer Patient Assistance Fund, which is part of the LRCP Patient Assistance Program; a 100-per-cent donor-funded initiative designed to help cancer patients facing financial hardships.

“This compassionate LRCP initiative exists only because of the generous support of donors,” says LHSF President & CEO John H. MacFarlane. “We can’t thank the Avon Foundation for Women enough for supporting breast cancer patients in this unique and meaningful way.”

Cheque presentation from Avon to LHSC and LHSF

From left: Neil Johnson, VP Cancer Care, London Health Sciences Centre and Regional VP, Cancer Care Ontario; Sue Carlyle, Chair, LHSF; Darlene Tenhaaf, Avon Representative; Virginia Yule, Board Member, Avon Foundation for Women (Canada); and Natalie Laurence, Media Relations, Avon Canada

London Health Sciences Foundation raises funds for the program, giving patients a source of funding to meet a variety of important patient needs. Studies show that patients receiving cancer treatment can experience significant financial distress due to additional out of pocket expenses that can average $200-$500 monthly. These expenses often come at a time when family income is reduced due to an inability to work.

“Our Patient Assistance Program provides support that can profoundly and positively affect a patient’s focus on healing and even help solve financial challenges that might otherwise prove a barrier to accessing treatment,” says Neil Johnson, LHSC Vice President Cancer Care. “Avon’s generosity will go a long way to ensuring women can concentrate on what is most important - their health.”

The Massel-Cruickshank Breast Cancer Patient Assistance Fund was created by the late Dr. Moira Cruickshank and her family in 2004. This fund provides assistance to breast cancer patients in need; for extra illness-related expenses such as mastectomy bras, breast prostheses, wigs and a wide variety of other important supports that help a patient and their family cope with the physical and social impacts of treatment.

“With this program we’re offering a sense of dignity when people are feeling so vulnerable,’ says Jim Panchaud, LRCP Social Worker and Regional Lead for Psychosocial Oncology at the South West Regional Cancer Program.  “We’re offering a ray of hope when things seem hopeless. I want to thank the Avon Foundation for Women for helping us to do that for people.”

Launched in 2014 to commemorate Avon's Centennial Anniversary, the Avon Foundation for Women (Canada) invited charities to submit a proposal to their Centennial Grants program. Each proposal, to improve the lives of those affected by breast cancer, was considered for one of the 10 grants of $100,000. After all submissions were received and considered, Avon awarded the initial 10 grants and four additional grants as well.

"We are honoured to be able to support these charities through the Avon Foundation, helping them to continue their critical work and contribution that they make to their community," says Avon Foundation for Women (Canada) President Roberta Lacey.

Learn more about the LRCP Patient Assistance Program.