Survivorship Is Why I Participate in Miles for Moffitt

By Jonesa Rodriguez - July 02, 2021

After being diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2018 and spending time at Moffitt Cancer Center, Melissa Bidgood said it became clear to her that she needed to participate in any way possible to find a cure. Through conversations with survivors and staff at the cancer center, she learned about the opportunity to fundraise through Miles for Moffitt presented by AutoNation. 

Melissa Bidgood at 2019 Miles for Moffitt Event
Melissa Bidgood and her husband show off their bling from the 2019 Miles for Moffitt.

Now, going into her third year of participating in the community event, she says her reasoning is simple: survivorship.

“Whether you are currently undergoing treatment, a caregiver, a survivor of cancer, or anyone who has been touched by cancer, I participate in Miles for Moffitt for you,” said Bidgood. “My husband, grandparents, father-in-law and I are all cancer survivors and I carry them with me through every mile.”

For the past 16 years, funds raised from the signature event have supported lifesaving cancer research at Moffitt, for which Bidgood says she is thankful.

“Without cancer research, millions of people would feel hopeless. Through research, hope can crush fear in so many,” she said. “Miles for Moffitt is the fuel helping to keep Moffitt at the forefront of cancer research.”

As Miles for Moffitt prepares to return to an in-person event in downtown Tampa, Bidgood is looking forward to all the feelings participants are met with on event day.

“There is not a single word that could describe the experience on race day,” Bidgood said. “Last year having a virtual race was important and needed because of COVID-19, but it lacked the sense of belonging, community, support, connection and the overwhelming feeling of happiness that you get from being in Tampa, surrounded by so many participating in Miles for Moffitt. You feel impactful.”

Bidgood has now been cancer free for two years. She says there aren’t enough words to thank the team at Moffitt, so she does her part by raising money to support research.

Melissa Bidgood and her Husband are both cancer survivors
Melissa Bidgood and her husband are both cancer survivors.

“Moffitt is amazing. I never thought I would use the word amazing while I had cancer, but Moffitt was my family and still is a part of my recovery and survivorship,” Bidgood said.

Join Bidgood in her pursuit to help contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer at this year’s Miles for Moffitt on Nov. 20 in downtown Tampa. Those who register before July 31 will receive an early bird special gift in the mail.

Moffitt continues to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidelines on the COVID-19 pandemic and anticipates providing Miles for Moffitt participants the option of joining in person or virtually. We will provide regular updates on all safety precautions as the event nears.

For more information or to register for the 2021 Miles for Moffitt, visit 

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