Avon's "Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer" (KGBC) Campaign
By Nico Erle Ciriaco
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Globally, women celebrate the entire month to help in combatting this life-threatening condition. The Philippine Cancer Registry lists more than 10,000 cases with a mortality rate of 40 per cent, and the numbers rise annually. The Philippine Cancer Society recently declared breast cancer as the No. 1 cancer in the country. At present, the Philippines now holds the highest incidence rate of breast cancer in the Asian region and is considered to have the 9th highest incidence rate in the world.
Avon Philippines president and general manager Kanwar Bhutani underlined the company's continuing commitment to the advocacy. “The cause that's closest to our heart is the breast cancer crusade; simply because mammary carcinoma continues to be the leading cancer killer of women worldwide. Avon has donated $740 million globally to fund research and support women stricken with the disease.”
As the foremost corporate advocate of the disease, Avon, through its annual Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer (KGBC) campaign, has continually created avenues for everyone to become part of the fight to save lives, and help provide access to care and support medically under-served women the world over.
“In the Philippines alone, we have 800,000 sales representatives. Therefore, this is a special cause. Avon reaches out to philanthropy cases on women’s causes, improving women’s lives since 1955. We are a company bringing hope and opportunity, not just beauty products,” Bhutani added.
This year's KGBC event, 'Step Out Against Breast Cancer,' invites each and every Filipino to support the worthy advocacy in any of three ways.
First, they may opt to join the annual walk event on Oct 21 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds. By simply purchasing the Limted Edition KGBC shirt, a fraction from each piece sold will go towards the continued support of the PGH Breast Cancer Center and other selected provincial hospitals.
Second, they can actually join the 5-km run, a new component of the campaign, which encourages the steadily growing community of runners in the country who actively show their commitment by participating in any of the aforementioned events.
For a registration fee of P500, individuals will receive the Avon KGBC Race Kit, which already includes a singlet, race number and a token. Entrants may sign up for the run events at any of the participating locations, namely: Taft, Shaw, EDSA, Makati head office and a few selected sporting goods stores. The top three fastest runners for both male and female categories will receive fabulous prizes.
Popular TV/movie actress, Sarah Lahbati, the newest spokesperson for the campaign (after Iza Calzado and Rhian Ramos), will participate in this year's walk/run events. A highlight of Avon's KGBC campaign that was launched locally in 2002, the Step Out Against Breast Cancer campaign invites everyone to actively take part in the fight against this life-threatening disease by joining any of the walk and/or run events in October.
Sarah's passion for the advocacy stems from her growing awareness on breast cancer. “This disease claims thousands of lives every year, and today, it is the No. 1 killer of Filipino women. These statistics alone catch our attention, but the gravity of this truth really hits when you meet the actual people that comprise these numbers.
“We should know by now that anyone can be a victim of this disease: mothers, daughters, sisters and friends. In my case, it’s a cousin. And knowing this, how could we just stand idly and watch as breast cancer causes the deaths of so many individuals? We always have a reason for doing things, and I think that our loved ones are the best reasons to join the Avon walk and run events,” the actress enthused.
She adds that apart from this, educating oneself on the condition – from risk factors to symptoms – is a must. “It's best to read up and guard yourself by understanding the factors that can increase breast cancer risks, as well as knowing the signs and symptoms to look out for. Awareness and preventive measures are some of your best allies in the battle against mammary carcinoma.”
At the end of the day, it boils down to a very important choice – a choice of watching from the sidelines, to taking a step forward and become part of the solution to a life-threatening problem.
Sarah, and the advocates before her, calls on each and every Filipino to take action and step out against breast cancer. “Being involved in the Avon Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer campaign has been both an enlightening and touching experience for me. I can’t stay home and do nothing knowing that I can; though I’m just 18. I've been lucky enough to not only meet and get to know some of the bravest women in the archipelago, but to actually find a way of helping them. If we all work together as one and move towards discovering the cure, it would make a world of difference. I’m excited to run and do the other events like spreading the news about awareness of the disease. No one’s too young to help fight it.”
Avon’s annual Walk (6am) and Run (5am) Events are slated on October 21 at the SM Mall of Asia open grounds.
On-line registration is possible through the Avon KGBC website, http://avonkgbcphilippines.com, or by simply visiting any of the following branches for interested Metro Manila runners: Makati head office (864-2638), Taft (5168001-06), and/or Shaw (571-8937/541-8933). You may also sign-up at the Royal Sporting House in Glorietta 4 ‘til Oct 13 (752-7084), and at the R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street (856-4639) from Sept. 26 through Oct. 14.
Third and last, another way to support the cause is through the purchase of Avon’s Ultra Colour Rich Brilliance Lipstick (P130). An amount from each tube of lipstick sold is earmarked for the breast cancer fund. The lip-colours, as well as the Limited Edition KGBC shirt, are available through Avon representatives. For more details and information on how to get in touch with an Avon lady, simply call the Avon Customer Helpdesk through 864-2900.
Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with almost $9 billion in annual revenues. As the world's largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in well over 100 countries through over six million independent Avon sales representatives. Aside from empowering women with meaningful earning opportunities and quality beauty products, Avon is also the largest corporate supporter of the breast cancer cause. Recently, Avon has announced reaching the new milestone of $740 million raised and awarded worldwide for access to care and finding a cure for the disease.
Whether you choose to run, walk or buy the fundraising product, your participation can make a significant contribution to the fight against breast cancer. This year’s campaign kick-started Aug. 15 at GMA’s Studio 7, coinciding with the launch of this 20-year-old initiative and the naming of Sarah Lahbati as the new ambassador. Avon’s KGBC Walk the Talk Tour also unfolded at the Avon Las Pinas (Aug 20-22) and Avon Taft (Aug 27-29) branches. The same tour will also happen at Avon Shaw (Sept 3-5) and Avon Edsa (Sept 10-12) as well as on off-site locations like SM Cebu (Sept 27-30) and SM Davao (Oct 25-28). In toto, the Avon tour will go around 20 locations nationwide in 20 days to commemorate the campaign’s 20th year.
To learn more about Avon, its products, its advocacies and meaningful career opportunities, simply log-on to their Web site www.avon.com.ph.