By Nikki Ross Inda
Over breakfast with National Hockey League (NHL) hall-of-famer and Tampa Bay Lightning alum Dave Andreychuk, Jack McFarland—a longtime Miles for Moffitt supporter—explains how he got involved with fundraising for Moffitt Cancer Center. Years ago, McFarland had a co-worker who battled cancer and was a patient at Moffitt. He watched her fight the terrible disease and saw how quickly the disease consumed his colleague’s health. But he was impressed with the treatment and care she received from Moffitt. “She always spoke highly of the cancer center,” McFarland recalls. Unfortunately, she lost her battle with cancer. “The first Miles for Moffitt race I participated in several years ago was in her memory. I am a big Rays fan, so I joined Evan Longoria’s team that year,” said McFarland. But as McFarland got to know Moffitt better and heard more stories about people’s experiences with the cancer center, he decided to make Moffitt his number one priority when it came to charitable giving.
While McFarland has not been personally affected by cancer, many of his loved ones have. “I am neither a patient nor a survivor, but many people I care about have been touched by cancer,” McFarland humbly responds.
Empathy has driven McFarland to be one of the top fundraisers for Miles for Moffitt for the past three years. Whether it’s selling his very own sports memorabilia or hosting football square fundraisers with his Facebook friends, McFarland goes hard. He is already strategizing fundraising techniques for Miles for Moffitt 2020 through an employee match program where he works.
McFarland and his family enjoyed their VIP Lightning experience, which included meeting Andreychuck and watching the Lightning practice. They even got to meet Bolt, the Lightning’s yellow puppy lab and team ambassador that is training to be service dog through Southeastern Guide Dogs.
As McFarland reflects on his morning at Amelie Arena, he ties the experience back to Moffitt and the race that is just days away. He is energized by the fact that every dollar raised for Miles for Moffitt goes toward life-saving cancer research. McFarland says, “Moffitt is an organization I can stand behind. I want to do my part to stomp out cancer!”