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Eighth-Grader Jarrod Hill and Fox Chase Cancer Center Receive Awards Through Avon's Breast Cancer Awareness Crusade

PHILADELPHIA (April 20, 1998) -- "The person I would take care of is my grandmother by spending time with her," said 14-year-old Jarrod Hill in his winning entry in the "Avon Kids Care" Essay Contest. "When people retire, no one spends quality time with them, which can cause their health to deteriorate. I would help...with chores...encourage her to have a well-balanced diet...take walks with her to help strengthen her arthritic leg."

Like the 15 other Avon essay contest winners across the country, Hill's goal was to explain in 100 words why and how he would encourage a favorite woman to take care of her health.

"Activity is important after retirement," Hill concluded. "Feeling loved is more important to a person than anything in the world."

An eighth-grader who lives in West Philadelphia and attends Greene Street Friends School in Philadelphia's Germantown section, Hill received a $1,000 savings bond for his thoughtful essay. He also earned a $50,000 "Avon Kids Care" grant for Philadelphia's Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Avon's Breast Cancer Awareness Crusade-the nation's largest corporate supporter of breast health programs-sponsored the "Avon Kids Care" Essay Contest last fall. The company selected winners in elementary, middle school, high school and college categories in the Northeast, North, Southeast and West.

In honoring the winners and their sponsoring Avon sales representatives this spring, the contest also awarded $50,000 grants for a breast health program in each region where the 16 contest winners live. Avon worked with the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations to select the institutions to receive these grants.

Intended to help medically underserved and African American women, the grant to Fox Chase Cancer Center will fund a one-year cooperative project with the Heureka Center for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Burlington City, N.J. Fox Chase project manager Denise James of Mount Holly, N.J., noted that New Jersey has the eighth-highest rate of breast-cancer deaths among the 50 states and more than half the female population of Burlington City is African American.

According to the National Cancer Institute, breast-cancer death rates for African Americans are higher than for other populations because more black women are diagnosed at later, less treatable stages of the disease. Although NCI recently reported a 5 percent drop in overall American deaths from breast cancer, breast-cancer mortality has actually increased 5 percent among African American women 70 and older and has declined only slightly among younger black women.

The National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service, whose regional office in Fox Chase serves eastern Pennsylvania and all of New Jersey and Delaware, will help design and manage a training program for outreach workers at the community-based, nonprofit Heureka Center.

"Our main goal is to conduct community outreach activities to identify and educate high-risk women about breast-cancer-screening services," Denise James explained. She added that the training program will help increase the staff's skills in addressing breast-health issues.

Last year, Fox Chase's regional Cancer Information Service staff worked closely with the federal Center's for Disease Control and Prevention in the CDC's Breast and Cervical Screening Program in New Jersey. The effort achieved 100 percent success in targeting women through home visits. The new Avon-funded project will include home visits and breast-screening events.

Fox Chase Cancer Center is one of 32 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation. The Center's activities include basic and clinical research, prevention, detection and treatment of cancer and community outreach programs.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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