For the eighth year in a row, Baylor College of Medicine served as the official medical sponsor of the Houston Avon Walk, held April 25 – 26.
“We are so proud to be a part of this event and support this wonderful organization,” said Dr. Polly Niravath, assistant professor in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor, who served as the medical director of the event. “The Avon Foundation has been committed to taking care of our community. We share in that mission and want to help in any way we can.”
On Saturday and Sunday, more than 1,000 participants walked total of 39 miles—despite rainy weather conditions—to raise critically important funds for breast cancer research and care.
Last year, the event raised over $2 million in funding for local organizations.
Led by Niravath, a team of more than 60 licensed healthcare professionals – a majority from Baylor – provided care to the walkers around the clock in the medical tent on the main event site at Rice University.
One thing sticks out in Niravath’s mind from this year and previous years serving as medical director – the participant’s determination to make a difference by completing the walk.
“These participants walk 26 miles the first day and 13 the second so you can imagine the blisters we saw,” said Niravath. “In some cases we saw dehydration and heat exhaustion. No matter what, they are determined to keep going. It is really inspiring for me as a physician to witness this.”
Baylor also hosted a cheer station at the College’s Cullen Building, which is located on mile 24 of the first day’s 26-mile route.
At the closing ceremonies on Sunday, Baylor received two new grants for breast cancer research and care. Read more about the awards.
-By Glenna Vickers