UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute will host its eighth annual Wilmot Warrior Walk in a virtual format on Sept. 12-13.
Participants are invited to choose a time on either day when they will complete their walk or run, and they’re encouraged to post about it on their social media channels using #WilmotWarrior.
While there is no charge to participate in the event, registrants can raise funds by creating a team and asking family, friends, co-workers and their community for donations. Proceeds will support cancer research and the Judy DiMarzo Cancer Survivorship Program. Visit bit.ly/2C4TNA8 to register.
“Cancer doesn’t quit, even in the face of a global pandemic,” said Jonathan Friedberg, director of the Wilmot Cancer Institute. “Thousands of people in our region continue to be impacted by cancer every day and we are as determined as ever to find better ways to treat cancer. I invite everyone who’s been impacted by cancer to form a team, fundraise and join us virtually for the Wilmot Warrior Walk. While I will greatly miss getting together with our community in person, we can still make this weekend in September an inspiring time by showing support for those impacted by cancer.”
The event has raised more than $729,000 since its inception in 2013. This year, the goal is to raise more than $100,000.
Volunteer Ralph Olney knows first-hand the importance of cancer research. He had chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant in July 2011 that held his acute myeloid leukemia at bay, but it returned in 2014. He needed another stem cell transplant and said he had a 17% chance of surviving.
More than five years later, he’s doing well. He joined Wilmot’s advisory board and volunteers to help raise money through the annual Walk. Last year, his team raised $26,150. This year, members already raised more than $10,000.
“If it was not for the cancer center, and the UR Medical Center and all the specialists that are available, I can honestly say that I would not be here today,” Olney said. “We really owe my life to the cancer center.”
The Walk also serves as a celebration. Participants are encouraged to get into the spirit of the event by rallying around a cancer survivor, purchasing team T-shirts or lawn signs, or finding a team to walk or run together as a small group.
“We have so many ways people can show support for their loved ones who have cancer while also supporting this important cause,” said Stephanie Sheets, associate director of advancement and community events. “We will send emails with ideas, but some options include making a team T-shirt, walking together in a small group, putting up lawn signs or making a fun video honoring someone with cancer. We really hope this event can still bring people together just like it has, but in a different way.”
Sponsorship opportunities are available. Call (585) 276-4717 or email wci@rochester.edu for information.