TAMPA, Fla. – Throughout her career as a nurse practitioner, Leah Clark made it her mission to make her patients her No. 1 priority. She cared for them, treated them, supported them and celebrated with them in times of triumph. When it came to her patients, Clark knew what to expect. What she didn’t expect was that the small spot on her upper left arm would turn out to be more than just a blemish.
Dr. Ricardo Gonzalez, head of the Sarcoma Department at Moffitt Cancer Center, was a friend and colleague of Clark’s. He was the one who removed her tumor and delivered the terrifying news: she had Stage IIIB melanoma.
Despite her diagnosis, Clark was determined to beat her cancer. Even while she was exploring different treatment options, she continued practicing medicine. She never let her sickness get in the way of her passion. To commemorate the end of her cancer journey, she decided to focus her efforts in giving back to a meaningful cause.
She’s participating in Miles for Moffitt.
On May 13, you can join her at Miles for Moffitt presented by AutoNation as the event welcomes runners and walkers to the USF Sun Dome to participate in the 10K, 5K, 1-mile run/walk, wheelchair race and Kids Dash. Supporters can also participate as a virtual runner from the comfort of their couch. As always, 100 percent of all registration fees and donations go directly to support cancer research at Moffitt.
“When I was diagnosed, I only had three options,” Clark says. “Now there are many more choices for melanoma treatment. That’s because of the progress we’ve made through research.”
Miles for Moffitt online registration will be open until Thursday, May 11. Registration is also available at packet pickup locations depending on race availability. You can register the day of the race from 6 - 7 a.m. For information on registration and the race day schedule, click here.
All Miles for Moffitt participants will receive a finisher medal, T-shirt and two Tampa Bay Rays tickets.
This year’s race is special for Clark because she is celebrating her five-year anniversary of a clean bill of health. Her team, “Celebrate 5,” is dedicated to supporting all cancer survivors who have reached their five-year milestone.
Since 2006, when Miles for Moffitt began, the event has raised more than $3.2 million to benefit cancer research at Moffitt.
“The money raised through Miles for Moffitt really does make a difference,” Clark says. “It’s made a difference in my life. The research Miles for Moffitt supports is essential. It’s a transformative event.”
About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 47 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the No. 6 cancer hospital in the nation and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2 million square feet to research and patient care. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 5,200 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.1 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.