Miles of Hope Funds Local Programs

The Miles of Hope Breast Cancer announced today the awarding of grants to area non-profit organizations.
“Miles of Hope funds support services, education and outreach to people affected by breast cancer within the 8 counties of the Hudson Valley,” explained Executive Director, Pari Forood. “Aside from our pillar programs which are funded annually, we accept grant applications from local organizations for worthy and appropriate programs.”
Chairman of the Miles of Hope Board of Directors, Lisa Arnoff, added: “We receive many requests to fund excellent programs here in our Hudson Valley benefiting people affected by breast cancer. It is essential that we fund raise with all of our events so that we can meet this need and help as many people as possible.”
Cathy Varunok, Co-Founder of Miles of Hope, explained that in the past 13 years, Miles of Hope has given away over $1.5 million dollars. “Our largest grant expenditure is the Medical Gap Care Fund which helps people in treatment for breast cancer with a financial emergency. We work with 6 social service agencies in 8 counties to make sure that we help anyone in financial distress because of their breast cancer diagnosis.”
The 4 grants awarded this week:
  • A $10,000 grant to Health Quest Systems to help purchase a tomosynthesis machine for advanced 3-D imaging for Vassar Brothers Medical Center
  • A $10,000 grant to Support Connections for the Peer to Peer Hotline manned by trained breast cancer survivors
  • A $2,500 grant to Tennis for Life which offers tennis lessons, organized play, peer networking groups and professionally-facilitated discussion groups to unite and assist breast cancer survivors in their recovery
  • A $1,500 grant to The Women of Faith Health & Wellness Ministry to conduct and support seminars including materials for information and distribution, food, and travel to various destinations.

According to the individual grant applications:

Vassar Brothers Medical Center has plans to purchase two additional state-of-the-art, 3-Dimensional (3D) digital mammography units referred to as “tomosynthesis,” a new technology combining with standard 2D mammography to produce superior images of the breast with much less radiation than standard digital mammography. The combination of the 3D and 2D images results in less time for the patient under compression, greater patient comfort, a lower radiation dose, and exceptional images.”

Support Connections stated: “Trained Counselors answer questions, provide in depth counseling & support, make additional service referrals, help navigate confusing medical systems, listen as long as necessary, and reach out to let women know we are always here. From 1/1/15-11/30/15 (11 months) counselors had 1,658 individual service contacts with clients affected by breast cancer. 685 were in-depth one-on-one counseling sessions. The remaining contacts provided general support, resource information, referrals, program & support group information, follow up calls.”

Tennis for Life support groups meet weekly at Match Point Tennis Club, in Orangeburg, NY (Rockland County) and “provides complimentary tennis lessons and court time for breast cancer survivors, an environment for survivors to share their experiences and feelings in a relaxed social atmosphere and monthly volunteer guest speakers who provide information on relevant health and wellness issues.

The Women of Faith Health & Wellness Ministry’s mission is “to provide community outreach on the issue of breast cancer education to underserved and minority populations.” The grant from Miles of Hope will allow them “to travel to churches within our community to inform women and men of all cultures of the effects of breast cancer, ways to decrease the effects, and the importance of self breast examinations and mammograms.”

“In Dutchess County, breast cancer ranks the highest in incidence among all cancers, at 141.4 per 100,000,” said Miles of Hope Co-Founder, Dana Effron. “We are helping this population with vital programs and support.”