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Miles of Hope Announces 1st Round of Grants

The Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation, a public charity funding support services, education and outreach to people affected by breast cancer within the 9 counties of the Hudson Valley, , announces today grants to nonprofits in the Hudson Valley supporting breast cancer programs.

  • Kingston based, Breast Cancer Options, (Ulster) will receive $5000 for a Massage Therapy Program.
  • Yorktown Heights based Support Connection, (Westchester) will receive $15,000 for the Peer to Peer Program.
  • YWCA of White Plains and Central Westchester will receive $7500 for the Encore Plus Breast Cancer Support Services.

“Organizations throughout the Hudson Valley apply to Miles of Hope to fund programs alleviating the burden and financial hardship of a breast cancer diagnosis,” explained Miles of Hope Executive Director, Pari Forood, (

“We field proposals from the nine counties in order to make a difference and augment medical treatment, addressing issues the breast cancer patient and their families face because of this diagnosis.”

The two grants to Breast Cancer Options and Support Connection will fund existing successful programs directly helping people with breast cancer in the Hudson Valley. Massage therapy has shown to lower blood pressure and stress levels for patients before and after surgery. Miles of Hope funds free massages for anyone in treatment for breast cancer through this program.

The Peer to Peer hotline is manned by trained breast cancer survivors. The number to call is: 800-532-4290 or locally in Westchester, 914-962-6402.

“The grant to the White Plains YWCA will support Encore Plus, YWCA’s breast cancer education and support program founded 19 years ago to reach underserved minority women in Westchester,” added Ms. Forood.

“Over 45% of Westchester’s residents are Hispanic, Latina or African-American, and breast cancer is their second leading cause of death. The goal of the grant to Encore Plus is to use intensive outreach and community partnerships to reach underserved women with the information and support they need to manage their breast health,” Ms. Forood said.

Marist Volleyball Spikes Pink!


Marist Women’s Volleyball Team with Coach Amundson on the left and Miles of Hope ED Pari Forood on the right

Marist Women’s Volleyball played a pink game in honor of breast cancer awareness month and the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation on Sunday against Fairfield.

“The team wore pink jerseys and socks and we disseminated information about Miles of Hope and the services they provide for everyone in our area who is affected by breast cancer,” said Coach Laura Amundson.

“It was great to be with the team and chat with them about women’s health issues and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even at their ages,” explained Miles of Hope Executive Director, Pari Forood. “They admit to eating irregularly in the off-season and not getting enough sleep during finals, but otherwise, they have great attitudes and personal health practices.”

“One of our goals at Miles of Hope is to educate everyone on the importance of good nutrition and exercise to reduce cancer risk. We organize 6 major women’s sporting events annually to help women get off the bench or bleachers or sidelines and participate in Hoops for Hope, Goals for Hope, Hits for Hope, the Family Fun Run, Dragon Boat Races and the Community Walk for Breast Cancer. All levels are represented at every event so everyone can join in and get exercise while having fun!”

Ms. Forood further explained: “The risk of getting breast cancer increases with age. Approximately 77% of women with breast cancer are over the age of 50 at the time of diagnosis.We encourage our core population of post-menopausal women to use one of our events as incentive to get into shape and improve their overall health not just to reduce cancer risk, but risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes as well,” Ms. Forood stated.

IBM Awards Community Grant to Miles of Hope for Medical Gap Care Program

thank youThe Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation announced today that it received the Community Grant from the IBM Corporation for the Medical Gap Care Program which helps people in treatment for breast cancer with a financial emergency.

“This grant represents a commitment from our largest corporate resident and neighbor to our foundation and the work we do,” explained Miles of Hope Executive Director, Pari Forood.

As the only regional breast cancer foundation, Miles of Hope funds support services for people affected by breast cancer within the 8 counties of the Hudson Valley.

“This grant of $2000 will enable us to help more people with their transportation to and from treatment, insurance copays and their day to day household expenses,” Ms. Forood said. “Historically Miles of Hope expends over $125,000 each year on the Medical Gap Care Fund helping people in the Hudson Valley with their expenses while they are in treatment for breast cancer.”

Excess stress on patients in treatment for breast cancer has been shown to impede recovery.

“At Miles of Hope, we recognize this and fund a number of programs to reduce or eliminate stress. The Medical Gap Care program is very helpful in the reduction of stress as are our complementary medicine programs at area hospitals,” Ms. Forood said.

Bonnie Boxes: Boxes of Love for Cancer Warriors

Cindy Snow (L) with Miles of Hope Co-founder Cathy Varunok

Cindy Snow (l.) with Miles of Hope co-founder Cathy Varunok

Bonnie Boxes are decorative boxes that contain essential items for individuals undergoing cancer treatments. Items fulfill physical, emotional, and psychosocial needs. The boxes and their contents are donated and assembled by volunteers and made with love.

Volunteer Cindy Snow spearheads this amazing venture. The photo shows Cindy with MOH co-founder Cathy Varunok.

We need more volunteers! Would you like to volunteer to make Bonnie Boxes? Fill in our contact form today and write “I want to volunteer for Bonnie Boxes” in the comments!

More about Bonnie Boxes

Thank you, Cindy, for making a difference!