• Celebrities take big steps to advocate breast cancer awareness

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    Filipinos of all ages stepped out of their homes and comfort zones to join the culminating breast cancer awareness activity of global women’s company Avon, dubbed “130 Million Steps.” As The Manila Times reported in October, annually regarded as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the direct-selling brand designed an app of the same name to enable participants of their yearly run to track their total number of steps to be converted to funds for the advocacy.

    Celebrity participants Jim Saret, Jennylyn Mercado and Toni Saret

    Celebrity participants Jim Saret, Jennylyn Mercado and Toni Saret

    Gathering at the Liwasang Ullalim in CCP Complex at the crack of dawn, Avon Philippines General Manager Emie Aguilar-Nierves and celebrity ambassador Jennylyn Mercado led the ceremonial download of the application, which signaled the start of the walk-for-a-cause.

    Explaining the novel idea for company’s CSR, Nierves said, “Here in the Philippines, we are so excited for people to use our mobile app, which makes the crusade bigger and more personal than ever before. The more people participate, the more noise we can make, the more people can become aware, ask questions, and be compelled to have themselves checked.”

    Mercado, who is officially the “Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer” ambassador along with fellow GMA artist Rocco Nacino also pledged their daily steps to the movement.

    Linda Nacino, breast cancer survivor and actor Rocco Nacino’s mom, inspires participants with her story

    Linda Nacino, breast cancer survivor and actor Rocco Nacino’s mom, inspires participants with her story

    Before setting off for the track, Mercado related, “This is a fight that I will never get tired of fighting. I am very fortunate to be able to empower my fellow Filipinas. In many ways, everyone can take part in this journey.”

    Meanwhile, Nacino, whose involvement in the cause is personal as his mother Linda is a breast cancer survivor, declared, “My mom is my greatest inspiration, and to share this fight with her as well as everyone else is such an honor and joy.”

    Celebrity coaches Jim and Toni Saret participated in the walkathon as well. “We’re doing this Walk of Awareness as our personal pledge to the cause and as our way of encouraging everyone to walk for a purpose,” said Jim.

    Toni added, “Health is always of utmost importance, and awareness of the fight against breast cancer can go a long way. Early detection remains to be the closest thing to a cure when it comes to breast cancer.”

    The funds raised at the highly successful 130 Million Steps outing are earmarked for the Philippine General Hospital’s Breast Cancer Center, which serves thousands of indigent Filipinas inflicted with the disease; assisted breast consultation activities of Avon Representatives; and the sustenance of the monthly activities of the Avon-PGH Breast Care Center Support Group.

    Mercado with Avon Philippines General Manager Emie Aguilar Nierves (fifth and sixth from right) join the pledgers of ‘130 Million Steps’

    Mercado with Avon Philippines General Manager Emie Aguilar Nierves (fifth and sixth from right) join the pledgers of ‘130 Million Steps’

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