By Cathy Clark
Brothers Marco and Luis Echeverry started Team DrivenFit 11 years ago, and again this year they will join thousands of runners and walkers making their way through downtown Tampa on Nov. 23 for Miles for Moffitt presented by AutoNation.
Why do they do it? “While raising money for cancer research is important to us, participating in Miles for Moffitt has always been about raising awareness of this great cause,” said Marco, team captain.
In 2008, Marco and Luis moved to Tampa from New York to start their business, Driven Health and Fitness Services, also known as DrivenFit. That same year their beloved Aunt Frances was diagnosed with cancer and admitted to Moffitt. “Unfortunately, she passed away from the cancer, but our experience at Moffitt made a lasting impression,” said Marco.
Luis reflects on that time. “We were new to the area, but we got to know Moffitt really well through what we were dealing with regarding our family. At the same time, we were trying to start a business, and I had just gotten out of the military. We wanted to find a way to cope with what we were all going through, as well as to share with some other people who maybe were impacted by a similar experience with a family member.”
“When we learned about Miles for Moffitt, we knew we had to participate and give back to the cause,” Marco said. “It helped us to grieve, but it also motivated us to do our small part to help find a cure so that, hopefully, no one else would have to face cancer like our aunt.”
They appreciate connecting with others who understand what it’s like to lose a loved one to cancer or who has fought a personal battle with the disease and won.
“On the turnaround they had last year, you’d see people you know or you’d see people cheering you on,” said Luis. “It felt good, and we could almost feel the spirit of our aunt.” Because of Miles for Moffitt, they feel closer to her. “We are determined to do everything we can to continue to support this great cause.”
They encourage their team to reflect a bit the night before the event on why they are participating. “If they are running for anyone and dedicating the race to anyone, we encourage racers on our team to take a marker and write the name on their wrist or arm somewhere so that while they are running, they can have something to look at and reflect upon so they can push a little extra,” said Luis.
The best part of the event? The message they want to convey is that Miles for Moffitt is for everyone.
“You can walk, run, or jog, but the most important thing is being out there with everyone,” said Marco. There are options to be a virtual runner or to support another person who is running or walking or to support one of the teams. “Cancer unfortunately does not discriminate. But being out there with cancer patients, cancer survivors and families is a way to lift people’s spirits and also honor those affected by cancer. And we will never forget those who we’ve lost.”
Miles for Moffitt Presented by AutoNation
- Nov. 23, 2019 | First event starts at 8 a.m.
- Amalie Arena’s Ford Thunder Alley
- 10K Wheelchair, 10K, 5K, 1K Fun Run, Run with Raymond Kids Dash
- Register at www.MilesForMoffitt.com