Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Melissa Canaday’s Tango for Tata’s in Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in New York

Actor Edward Hyland and his wife Melissa Canaday. Photo by Lia Chang

Actor Edward James Hyland and his wife Melissa Canaday. Photo by Lia Chang

My friend, Melissa Canaday will celebrate 4 years of being cancer free with her Tango for Tata’s team, by participating in the 11th Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in New York, October 19-20, 2013.

Melissa has already raised $8,216.56, surpassing her $7800 goal. Her personal support team includes her family – her husband, actor Edward James Hyland, her daughter, Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland, and her son, Ian Hyland. I’ve donated to her fundraising efforts in memory of my relatives and friends who are breast cancer survivors, click here to donate too.

Below is a message from her personal page in regards to her fundraising efforts:

“Cancer Sucks! and it’s the last thing I want anyone I know to get. Please support me with as much as you can. It now takes $150 to fund a mammogram for a woman or man in need. (and yes, men get breast cancer, too) So that means I have to work that much harder to continue to cover the minimum number of women I have sworn to protect. I want to cover at least 18 women, and in the past $1800 covered them. Now, however, with health care cost soaring, that $1800 only covers 12 women. What about my 6 women left wanting? I now need to raise at least $2,700 to cover them.

So here is the GOAL! I NEED TO RAISE $7800.00. Why this amount? $7800 will cover 52 women with a mammogram. I turned 52 on August 10th. One woman for every year of my life. It is a BOLD goal, but Cancer doesn’t care who it hits, so we have to be bold, brave, and determined.

Please donate to me. Ask your friends to donate to me. Do a tag sale, bake sale, and send the money raised to me. I promise to walk and make you an official team member! This year, more than ever, I am asking for help beyond the normal donation request. I have too many friends now who are fighitng, and I want to win for them!!

This year I dedicate this Walk to Diane. You better keep fighting woman! You have a lot more dancing to do. xo

Thanks for visiting my Avon Walk page. I’ve committed to participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. It’s a big commitment, one that will require me to spend the next several months training and fundraising. But breast cancer is a big disease, one that still affects far too many people, and I’m determined to do everything I can to help put an end to it. The money I raise will be managed and disbursed by the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade to help provide access to care for those that most need it, fund educational programs, and accelerate research into new treatments and potential cures. I’ll be just one of thousands of people that will walk up to a marathon and a half over a weekend, raising awareness of the cause and educating even more people.”

Love and Light
Melissa Canaday

Last year’s Avon Walk New York drew 3,300 participants from across the country, including 401 breast cancer survivors, all of whom raised funds to advance access to quality breast health care for all and to fund research into the prevention and causes of breast cancer and ultimately, to find a cure.

The Avon Walk New York, the seventh of eight 2013 Avon Walks, offers participants a choice of walking a marathon (26.2 miles) or a marathon-and-a-half (39.3 miles) over a weekend. Walkers raise a minimum of $1,800 to participate and the Avon Foundation distributes the funds raised to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations.

The event begins on Saturday, Oct. 19 with an inspirational opening ceremony at Hudson River Park’s Pier 84. Walkers will begin their journey of up to 26.2 miles on Saturday through the New York City area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by family, friends and supporters along the route. Participants will spend the night at the Walk’s “Wellness Village“ at Randall’s Island, featuring pink two-person tents, hot showers, hot meals, entertainment, volunteer medical services, as well as leisure activities such as yoga and a spa zone with mini back and foot massages.

On Sunday, Oct. 20, after completing the Avon Walk’s final 13.1 miles – for a total of up to 39.3 miles over the course of the weekend – participants will join family and friends to celebrate their achievement at a closing ceremony at Hudson River Park’s Pier 84. At the ceremony, the Avon Foundation will award new grants to Tri-State area breast cancer organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the community.

The Avon Foundation for Women has awarded more than $57.7 million to breast cancer organizations and institutions in the Tri-State area, including Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and New York University School of Medicine.

So far this year, more than 7,000 women and men have participated in Avon Walks in Houston, Washington, Boston and Chicago, raising nearly $16 million to fund leading cancer centers, research institutions and community-based organizations in the Walk regions, as well as hundreds of additional grants to breast cancer research and access programs across the country. Remaining 2013 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer events also include Charlotte (Oct. 26-27).

The Avon Walk will return to New York next year on Oct. 18-19, 2014. The complete 2014 Avon Walk season schedule also includes: Houston (April 12-13); Washington (May 3-4); Boston (May 17-18); Chicago (May 31-June 1); San Francisco (July 12-13); Santa Barbara (Sept. 6-7); and Charlotte, N.C. (Oct. 25-26).

For more information on the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, visit or call 888-541-WALK. To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women visit

About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series is a project of the Avon Foundation for Women, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Since its launch in 2003, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series has raised nearly $488 million through the dedication of more than 187,000 participating women and men from across the country, including thousands of Avon Associates and Representatives. The Avon Foundation awards the funds raised to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations to support breast cancer education, screening and diagnosis, access to treatment and support services, and research. The Walks take place in eight cities, covering 39.3 miles in two days, and raise significant awareness and funds to fight breast cancer. The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Series is the largest fund-raising event for the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Since Avon launched the Crusade in 1992, Avon breast cancer programs in 58 countries have donated more than $780 million for research and advancing access to care. Visit for more information.

About the Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2012, Avon global philanthropy, led by the Avon Foundation, has donated more than $910 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Visit for more information.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Photos: Edward James Hyland Stars in Lee Blessing’s WORLD PREMIERE A User’s Guide to Hell, Featuring Bernard Madoff At Atlantic Stage II, September 5 – 28, 2013
Center Stage Photo Preview: Denise Burse and Michael Genet in Marcus Gardley’s dance of the holy ghosts, Opens October 16, 2013
Nov. 6 – Dec. 8: Tony Nominee John Earl Jelks, Dewanda Wise and Harvey Gardner Moore Star in Labyrinth’s American Premiere of Sunset Baby by Dominique Morisseau at Bank Street Theater
National Black Theatre Festival Photos: Backstage with André De Shields, Marie Thomas, Erin Cherry, Sean Phillips and Morocco Omari in Knock Me A Kiss
Photos: André De Shields, Mary Zimmerman, Akash Chopra, Richard M. Sherman, Kevin Carolan, Larry Yando, Nehal Joshi and More Celebrate The Jungle Book Opening Night at Huntington Theatre in Boston
Spend an Evening with Tony Winner Nikki M. James at Joe’s Pub on October 21, 2013
Oct. 5-Nov. 17: LTC3/Lincoln Center Theater’s World Premiere of JC Lee’s LUCE Features Olivia Oguma, Marin Hinkle, Neal Huff, Okieriete Onaodowan and Sharon Washington
Photos: Backstage Q & A with Thom Sesma and the cast of Signature’s Miss Saigon
Photos: Backstage with Michi Barall and the cast of Regina Taylor’s stop.reset. at Signature Theatre
Roscoe Orman, Anthony Chisholm, Amari Cheatom, Stephen McKinley Henderson and More Set for Live Recording of Jitney at The Greene Space
Photos: Opening Night of Will Power’s Fetch Clay, Make Man with John Earl Jelks, Richard Masur, Nikki M. James, K. Todd Freeman, Ray Fisher
Photos: Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Phylicia Rashad, John Earl Jelks, Leslie Uggams, Anthony Chisholm, S. Epatha Merkerson, Taraji P. Henson, Jesse L. Martin, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Kenny Leon and More Set for August Wilson American Century Cycle Recording Series at The Greene Space in NY, Aug. 26-Sept. 28, 2013 Review: Power Play Powerful & Suspenseful
Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks, Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams
Signature Theatre’s 2013-14 Season Features New Works by Albee, Hwang, Enos, Taylor, Wilson, Clarke and Jacobs-Jenkins
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2013 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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