The Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) public charity established in March of 2004.
The mission of the Foundation is to fund support services and outreach for people affected by breast cancer within the Hudson Valley, New York (Columbia County, Dutchess County, Putnam County, Westchester County, Rockland County, and Orange County, Sullivan County, Ulster County and Greene County.)
Miles of Hope was started by Dana Effron and Cathy Varunok, two community activists who saw a need for increased services for people with breast cancer. For years, Dana and Cathy raised money for national breast cancer organizations but in 2004, they decided to focus their fundraising efforts on helping their friends and neighbors in the nine counties of the Hudson Valley. To date, Miles of Hope has granted over $2.8 million to programs and services for people affected by breast cancer. The Foundation’s Executive Director is Pari Forood.
Foundation Events highlighting our fundraising activities:
- The Miles of Hope Spring Brunch – The Grandview, Poughkeepsie, NY (Coming in May)
- Goals for Hope Soccer Tournament – Stringham Park, Lagrangeville, NY (Coming in August)
- Hudson Valley Community Breast Cancer Walk – James Baird State Park, Pleasant Valley, NY (Coming in October)
- Hoops for Hope Women’s Basketball Tournament – Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY (Currently paused)
All funds raised in the Hudson Valley are used to support programs in Columbia County, Dutchess County, Putnam County, Westchester County, Rockland County, and Orange County, Sullivan County, Ulster County and Greene County. Current programs funded by the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation include:
(Annual programs highlighted in pink)
- Complementary Medicine this includes funding of massage therapy, reiki, acupuncture, music therapy, exercise/yoga/dance, and art therapy programs to enhance recovery.
- Scholarships for graduating high school students and eligible college students whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. Students must reside within one of the nine counties covered by the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation.
- Medical Gap Care Fund for individuals who are faced with life emergencies and/or costs not covered by health insurance while they are undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Partner agencies: Dutchess County Community Action Partnership (Dutchess, Columbia), Putnam County Community Action Partnership (Putnam), Family of Woodstock (Ulster, Greene), Cancer Support Team (Westchester), Cornerstone Family Healthcare (Orange, Rockland, Sullivan)
- Peer to Peer toll free phone line uniting recently diagnosed breast cancer patients with trained survivors.
Some examples of Grants that have been awarded:
- A grant to increase the number of people who can participate in ongoing breast cancer support groups in Putnam County and for yoga and ‘meditation for breast care’ classes also in Putnam County.
- A grant to translate a booklet that is a resource to cancer patients and their families into Spanish
- A grant to provide transportation to area hospitals to underinsured women needing mammograms in Northern Westchester.
- A grant to provide one on one counseling service to recently diagnosed breast cancer patients in Westchester and Putnam counties by trained survivors
- A grant for educational materials for recently diagnosed breast cancer patients to Vassar Brothers Medical Center (Dutchess)
- A grant for a massage therapy program for breast cancer patients to VBMC and Putnam Hospital Center
- A grant to fund the Reclaiming Intimacy and Sexuality After Cancer Conference
- A grant for a Young Survivor’s Forum
- A grant for educational materials to be presented to people immediately after their breast cancer diagnosis to Putnam Hospital Center
- A grant to the Dutchess County Art Association/Barrett House for a survivor’s ceramic class
- A grant to the Wall Street Jazz Festival (Ulster) presenting live jazz in Kingston while providing material on breast cancer for the public
- A grant to Support Connection (Westchester) for 20,000 Breast and Ovarian Cancer Educational brochures
- A grant to Support Connection for a peer counseling program for people diagnosed with breast cancer
- A grant (Ulster) for an educational calendar regarding breast cancer risk reduction and healthy lifestyles
- A grant to Benedictine Hospital (Kingston) for an Arts in Wellness program for people diagnosed with breast cancer
- A grant to St. Francis Hospital (Dutchess) for items and appliances for the lobby of the new Cancer Center entitled ‘Tea and Sympathy’
- A grant to St. Francis Hospital (Dutchess) to fund exercise therapy/reflexology/reiki programs
- A grant to St Luke’s Hospital Cornwall (Orange) to help train Peer to Peer Counselors
- A grant to Barrett Art Center (Dutchess) for a clay works survivor therapy class
- A grant to Tennis for Life for a free tennis clinic for survivors in Rockland County
- A grant to Breast Cancer Options for an acupuncture program in Ulster County
- A grant to provide yoga classes for people in treatment and survivors in Westchester County
- Grants to Specialty Fittings to help open facilities: Health Alliance Hospital-Mary’s Avenue Campus; Putnam Hospital Center; and Hudson Valley Hospital (see La Boutique, above)
- A grant to Gilda’s Club of Westchester to fund 2 breast cancer networking groups for young survivors
- A grant to Sharsheret of Rockland to educate and support ultra-orthodox Jewish women
- A grant to Sparrow’s Nest of the Hudson Valley (Dutchess) to provide meals to families affected by breast cancer
- A grant to Vassar Brothers Medical Center to help purchase a breast Tomosynthesis machine
- A grant to Northern Westchester Hospital for a Breast Health Initiative for Underserved Women to receive free, accessible, comprehensive and timely breast health services from education, screening, risk assessment and intervention to diagnosis, state-of-the-art treatment and follow-up
- A grant to Cancer Support Team of Mamaroneck (Westchester) to enhance the delivery of home based services for breast cancer patients including massage, reflexology, nutrition counseling, yoga, therapeutic touch, reiki, and wigs for treatment-related hair loss.
- A grant to the Women’s Health Faith and Wellness Ministry for materials for informational programs to educate minority populations in Dutchess, Ulster and Orange Counties
- A grant to Columbia Memorial Health for breast cancer support and wellness services
- A grant to Support Connection for a yoga program for breast cancer survivors
- A grant to Breast Cancer Options to send children of breast cancer patients/survivors to Camp Lightheart
- A grant to Support Connection for the Peer to Peer Program
- A grant to the YWCA of White Plains/Central Westchester to support Encore Plus, YWCA’s breast cancer education and support program to reach underserved minority women in Westchester.