Throughout the entire Miles for Moffitt route, Denise Troutman never took a break — except to take a picture when passing by Moffitt Cancer Center. “That’s where we went so many times, and just to see that sign out front and to know that there was help inside was a big thing for me,” she says, noting that it was her favorite part of the race course. She has supported Miles for Moffitt every year in memory of her late mother, Laura, who battled Myelodysplasia.
For Janelle Morales, Miles for Moffitt is personal. Not only is she a breast cancer survivor, but also a Moffitt team member, serving as an executive assistant in Moffitt’s Head and Neck-Endocrine Oncology Department. "I feel like I owe my life to raising funds for cancer research," she says. "It doesn’t stop with me — I’ve got to continue the fight, so that’s why I do it."
Last weekend, more than 5,600 gathered at the USF Sun Dome for the 2017 Miles for Moffitt presented by AutoNation. From caregivers to survivors and patients - participants shared one common goal: raising funds for cancer research to save lives and ultimately defeat cancer. More than 920 virtual runners and more than 320 teams joined in the event to raise over $1 million this year.
Since its conception in 2006, the event has raised more than $4 million and has funded more than 50 research projects at Moffitt. This year’s top fundraising team, Team Courage, raised more than $90,000. Dr. Alan List, Moffitt president and CEO, was the team captain and raised more than $86,000.
Research dollars play a critical role in helping us garner further grant funding from the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute. "Our primary grant source is the NIH and the NCI, but to get those grants, you have to have preliminary data; and to generate preliminary data, you need funding to get started," he says. "That’s why this event is so important."
WTSP, 10 News, anchors Allison Kropff and Mark Rivera hosted the event along with Moffitt team member and cancer survivor Joshua Rivera. Founder H. Lee Moffitt, Dr. List and AutoNation Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Marc Cannon kicked off the three races.
Afterward cancer survivors and researchers were welcomed onstage by King High School’s drumline for a survivor tribute. New this year, the Spirit of Miles for Moffitt Award was given to Morales and Ana Gonzalez, captains of Team Cancer Crushers, who raised more than $18,000. The award is given to a participant, team, volunteer, or donor who embodies the spirit of the event — hard work, kindness, hope and dedication to the cause.
Presenting Sponsor AutoNation, Bib Sponsor Gerdau, Survivor Sponsor USAmeriBank, Discovery Sponsor Tampa Bay Rays and others joined in supporting the cause. The generosity of these sponsors makes it possible for 100 percent of the race registration fees to directly support Moffitt’s cancer researchers who work tirelessly to carry out our mission.
Miles for Moffitt will accept donations online through June 23. As a reminder, the team captain who raises the most will earn a grand prize from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 16 suite tickets to a game, food, nonalcoholic beverages and three parking passes. The top individual fundraiser will have the opportunity for up to four people to attend a morning practice with the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena, followed by lunch with a Lightning alumni player. The next 10 top fundraisers will each receive four Bucs club-level tickets and four pregame sideline passes.