Miles of Hope Awards Grants to Local Organizations in Dutchess, Ulster and Westchester counties

10YearsStampThe Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation announced today the awarding of grants to local organizations for breast cancer programs and services.

“Our mission is to fund local and regional non-profits to allow them to go into their specific communities and alleviate some of the problems and issues confronted by people affected by breast cancer,” Pari Forood, Executive Director of Miles of Hope explained.

“We receive many grant applications for funding, and we award grants in two cycles, twice a year, in February and July.”

“At this grant cycle, we are delighted to fund the massage therapy program at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. $10,000 will enable them to offer free massage to people pre and post-surgery in their Cancer Center.”

After an initial grant from Miles of Hope, VBMC was able to start a massage therapy program three years ago which has now grown to include a research study with additional funding from Yoplait, to determine the benefits of this therapy on breast cancer patients.

“We were thrilled to be at the cusp of this program partnering with two Health Quest hospitals (Putnam Hospital Center has a Miles of Hope funded massage therapy pilot program currently running) to help breast cancer patients and offer this ancillary care to them,” Ms. Forood said.

A $5000 grant was awarded to Gilda’s Club of Westchester for breast cancer outreach support programs at their location in White Plains, NY. This is a new program for Gilda’s Club and it will provide emotional and educational support to women diagnosed with breast cancer, especially minority women who lack health insurance.

The NYS Minority Health Surveillance Report (Dec. 2010) indicates that the rate of breast cancer mortality inWestchester is higher in the African American population (28.2 per 100,000) than in the White population (24.8 per 100,000), with a rate of 17.6 per 100,000 in the Hispanic population.

“Lessening the care gap that statistically affects minorities is a priority of Miles of Hope,” explained Cathy Varunok, Miles of Hope co-founder and Occupational Therapist. “This program will directly help women of color in Westchester and Putnam counties especially: Yonkers, Mt. Vernon, Ossining, Peekskill, and White Plains.”

A third grant was awarded to Breast Cancer Options of Kingston, NY for a metastatic breast cancer retreat at the Omega Institute. $2,750 will allow BCO to run a retreat for women with metastatic breast cancer focusing on their specific needs and concerns.