Today, 27 March sees the grand opening of Vmeste (meaning ‘together’) - the first Breast Cancer Support Centre in Russia to provide support for women dealing with breast cancer. The centre, based in Moscow, was founded by Avon and National Women’s Health Care Foundation and aims to help 20,000 women a year with free comprehensive psychological, social, legal, wellbeing and rehabilitation support.
60,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed every year in Russia. The new centre will use the latest rehabilitation techniques to help many of these women, their families and loved ones overcome the effects of a breast cancer diagnosis and help them return to normal life.
The Vmeste Centre was officially opened by Jan Zijderveld, Chief Executive Officer at Avon. "Supporting women's health and wellbeing is part of our DNA,” he explains. “Across our network of 6 million Avon Representatives globally we're committed to improving the lives of women, their families, communities, and ultimately, the world. Through the Avon Breast Cancer Promise, we educate women about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and make sure they know where to go for help. To date, we've educated 180 million women and funded more than 20 million breast screenings. And we promise to do more."
Oksana Moldavanova, President of the National Women’s Health Care Foundation said, “In the new centre we have gathered high-level professionals to show women that cancer is not a death sentence. Thanks to the advances in modern medicine, this disease is often treatable. Life goes on after a diagnosis is made, and our goal is to help women make it as interesting and fulfilling as it was before.”
Elena Starkova, General Manager Avon Russia and Eastern Europe said, “The opening of “Vmeste” is a historical step in the development of a culture of rehabilitation and health care for Russian women. Avon has been present in the Russian market for 25 years and for more than 15 of those years, we’ve been dedicated to supporting the breast cancer cause. Avon has offered screenings to 75,000 women and has educated millions about the disease – we’ve done a lot but there’s more to do and this new centre represents a big step towards doing that.”
Image: Elena Starkova, Oxana Moldovanova and Jan Zijderveld cutting the ribbon at the grand opening of the Vmeste Centre.