The Miami Dolphins announced the Dolphins Cancer Challenge VIII (DCC VIII) raised $5,079,000 for innovative cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
A check for that amount was presented by the Miami Dolphins Foundation to Sylvester director Dr. Stephen Nimer in a half-time ceremony during the Crucial Catch Game on Sunday October 14. University of Miami Executive Vice President for Business and Finance and COO Jacqueline Travisano, Ed.D., Miller School of Medicine Dean Henri Ford, M.D., MHA, UHealth CEO Edward Abraham, M.D., and a number of Sylvester physicians and researchers were on the field for the announcement and check presentation. The ceremony also honored several cancer survivors who have been helped by the research funded by the annual DCC event.
“I am extremely grateful for the strong relationship forged between the Dolphins and Sylvester, now entering its ninth year,” Dr. Nimer said. “The fact that the DCC has become the largest event fundraiser in the NFL speaks volumes about the amount of work and commitment the Dolphins have dedicated to supporting cancer research at Sylvester. To date, more than $27 million have been raised and are being used to fund pediatric sarcoma and leukemia research, our Precision Medicine Initiative, start-up packages for emerging researchers, community outreach in underserved areas and more.”
To celebrate the $5 million gift from DCC VIII, the Miami Dolphins held a halftime ceremony honoring the journey of eight cancer survivors treated at Sylvester, each adorned with a color to represent the diversity of all cancer treatments offered at Sylvester. In addition, all 300 cancer survivors who participated in the DCC were invited to the game and were celebrated on field as well as the doctors who receive critical funding from the money raised.
DCC funds are used to support truly innovative research, helping recruit and retain some of the world’s best minds in cancer research and care and investing in cutting-edge technologies to bring the latest in discoveries for detection, diagnosis and treatment to cancer patients in South Florida and beyond. In just eight years, more than $27.5 million dollars has gone to fund research that leads to more effective targeted therapies for each patient’s cancer, including:
- Precision medicine – discovering, developing and delivering the next generation of precision cancer medicine.
- Immunotherapies – investing in the fast-growing field of cancer immunotherapies that boost the patient’s own immune system to attack and eradicate cancer cells.
- Clinical trials – offering the latest clinical cancer trials to patients, allowing them to receive some of the most promising new therapies targeting the drivers of their particular cancers.
- Radiation oncology research – developing new ways to more precisely deliver radiation therapy in a variety of cancers, concentrating the dosage on cancer cells and leaving healthy tissue unaffected.
- Cancer diagnostics – investing in the newest technologies and best talent to better understand each individual’s cancer and its genetic drivers.
“We are so proud of the accomplishments and progress we have made towards the battle against cancer,” DCC Executive Director Jennifer Jehn said. “Ultimately, our goal is to tackle cancer, and the money we raise goes directly to funding those doctors dedicated to the innovative cancer research at Sylvester. This donation demonstrates that we are all in this together, that you don’t have to have cancer to fight cancer and after bringing the DCC’s total to 27.5 million, we are getting ready for DCC IX which we hope will be our best year yet.”
Started in 2010 by the Miami Dolphins as the signature initiative of the Miami Dolphins Foundation’s health impact area, the DCC is dedicated to improving people’s lives through the financial support of innovative cancer research at Sylvester. The DCC IX is scheduled to take place April 6, 2019 and includes five bike routes throughout South Florida, a run/walk 5K and a finish line concert celebration all with the goal of tackling cancer.
Written by Diana Gonzalez, media relations director for Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.