Dolphins Cancer Challenge Unites South Florida to Raise More Than $20 Million for Sylvester Cancer Research
With tears in her eyes, Yatta Estelle Bright stood at the ﬁnish line of the Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC) on Saturday, February 20, 2016, waiting for her friends to complete the 5K run/walk.
“I lost my husband Etienne to brain cancer just a few months ago,” said Bright, a clinical lab technician in Broward County. “The doctors and staff at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center were wonderful, and I want to tell them how much that support meant to both of us.”
It was one of countless emotional moments at Sun Life Stadium – now known as Hard Rock Stadium – as thousands of South Floridians whose lives have been touched by cancer came together to honor the memory of loved ones, celebrate their victories over cancer, and raise funds for the leading-edge research taking place every day at Sylvester. DCC participants ranged from children to seniors, including more than 700 University of Miami students, faculty and staff members on Team Hurricanes.
The sixth annual DCC – now the largest event fundraiser in the National Football League – set a new record, with 3,317 participants. More than $20 million has been raised since the DCC’s inception in 2010, and every dollar raised is donated to Sylvester to support cancer research.
This support contributes to life-saving research at Sylvester, including: Sylvester’s Precision Medicine Initiative to conduct genomic sequencing of every patient’s tumor to identify the molecular drivers of each individual’s cancer and the best therapy to target it; clinical trial acceleration grants and pilot study awards aimed at helping Sylvester cancer researchers move their homegrown discoveries from the bench to the bedside; and cancer prevention outreach into South Florida’s at-risk and underserved populations, providing cancer education and screening to prevent needless cancer deaths.
The Dolphins Cancer Challenge has grown into South Florida’s signature fundraising event to support cancer research, and has become a model for other sports teams seeking to support cancer research in their cities’ academic cancer centers.
World Champion Gives Back to Patients by Creating the Anthony Rizzo Hope 44 Program
A milestone 108 years in the making, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series on November 3, 2016. After catching the ﬁnal out, ﬁrst baseman Anthony Rizzo joined his teammates in a euphoric on-ﬁeld celebration of their heroic achievement. Yet, as unbelievable as it may seem, winning the World Series was not Rizzo’s hardest ﬁght or biggest win. Rizzo is a nine-year survivor of lymphoma, and was treated at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center by Izidore Lossos, M.D., director of the Lymphoma Program at Sylvester and a professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. In a 2014 demonstration of Rizzo’s appreciation, the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation made a generous gift to support the research of Lossos and his research team. In recognition of the gift, a waiting area within Sylvester was renamed the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation Hematology Oncology Waiting Area.
In 2016, while the Chicago Cubs were on the road to becoming world champions, the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation again championed Sylvester by making another commitment to bring the foundation’s total support to nearly $1 million. This gift will support cancer research and the Personal Care Program at Sylvester for teens and adolescents with cancer. In recognition of his gift, the Personal Care Program will now be known as The Anthony Rizzo Hope 44 Program. (Hint: Rizzo's uniform number is 44.) The Hope 44 Program will assist young cancer patients and their families through all phases of cancer treatment – from the ﬁrst oncology appointment to follow-up care after treatment. Our thanks to the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation for making this a true win for children and teens with cancer and their families..
Sedano’s Supermarkets: Inspiring Customers to Support Cancer Research
Sedano’s Supermarkets, Inc. is a loyal supporter of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Founded in Hialeah in 1962 by the Guerra and Herrán families, Sedano’s has grown to become the top Hispanic grocer in the United States and is the largest independently owned Hispanic supermarket chain. In July 2015, Jose Herrán, Sr., vice president of operations at Sedano’s and patriarch of the Herrán family, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. His family’s gratitude for the care and treatment received at Sylvester inspired them to make a difference. In March 2016, Sedano’s committed $1 million to support pancreatic cancer research at Sylvester. One component of their support is an annual in-store point-of-sale campaign that beneﬁts Sylvester. The 2016 campaign – which communicated Sylvester’s breakthrough research and innovative treatments to South Florida’s Hispanic shoppers – had its most successful year, generating $110,000 for cancer research at Sylvester.
Sylvester and Florida Panthers Celebrate Hockey Fights Cancer Partnership
Sylvester is honored to be the ofﬁcial Hockey Fights Cancer partner of the Florida Panthers. The team announced a $25,000 donation for cancer research during a check presentation at the last Hockey Fights Cancer game on November 12. The Hockey Fights Cancer partnership kicked off with the Viktor E. Dash 5k race on October 22, followed by a series of home games in November. A portion of the registration fees for the race and the games made up the $25,000 donation to Sylvester, and an additional $5,000 was donated by the National Hockey League.
Sylvester Receives Landmark $50 Million Pledge From the Pap Corps
Sylvester announced a landmark $50 million gift from The Pap Corps, Champions for Cancer Research, a South Florida-based grassroots organization, at a ceremony at Sylvester at Deerﬁeld Beach on November 10, 2016. This commitment, one of the largest made to a cancer center nationally in 2016, is targeted toward saving lives by funding cancer research. The Sylvester at Deerﬁeld Beach satellite clinic, which is set to begin a major renovation and expansion in 2017, will be dedicated as “The Pap Corps Campus” in honor of the gift. The $50 million pledge will support innovative research in cancer epigenetics, cancer control, and tumor biology. Across these programs, funding will support the recruitment of more than two dozen leading cancer experts, Sylvester’s most promising scientists and their research projects, as well as laboratory expansion and innovative research technology.
The gift from The Pap Corps is historic in its magnitude and is expected to be transformative in its scope, funding critical, life-saving cancer research at Sylvester.
Linda Moses, president of The Pap Corps, said the organization had previously raised nearly $60 million for Sylvester, $43 million of that since 2003. This latest gift brings The Pap Corps’ total commitment to more than $100 million.
Glaslove at Sylvester: Redesigning the Course of Cancer
Glass is characterized by the duality of its strong yet fragile nature. Poetically and metaphorically, glass reﬂects the spirit of those battling cancer, and therefore it is the material of choice for the fourth edition of Luminaire’s ongoing “Love” fundraising auction to beneﬁt cancer research. Driven by their desire to give back and help ﬁnd a cure, Luminaire founders Nasir and Nargis Kassamali initiated GlasLove at Sylvester. The design auction, which started in October 2016 to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, continues online with prototypes and limited edition glass pieces. So far, the GlasLove auction has raised $127,000 for breast cancer research at Sylvester.
To ﬁnd out more about the available pieces, visit luminaire.com/glaslove/gallery.html
Sylvester Celebrates Dedication of Kinga and Edward Lampert Laboratory for Breast Cancer Research
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the University of Miami and the Miller School of Medicine and breast cancer research supporters celebrated the dedication of the new Kinga and Edward Lampert Laboratory for Breast Cancer Research at the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute. Funded by a $1.5 million gift from the Lampert Foundation, the laboratory supports critical breast cancer research conducted by Marc E. Lippman, M.D., the Kathleen and Stanley Glaser Professor. Research projects at the Kinga and Edward Lampert Laboratory focus on the development of translational research in breast cancer, the discovery of new mechanisms and targets for breast cancer treatment, and new preventive and therapeutic opportunities resulting from fundamental research in breast cancer biology.
The Feinsilvers – a Family of Cancer Fighters
Paul Feinsilver and his two children, Corey and Zack, are the nucleus of a philanthropic family committed to supporting cancer research and raising funds for Sylvester. Denny Feinsilver, Paul’s late wife, passed away in 2013 from breast cancer. Denny had been involved with Sylvester since 1998 and devoted countless hours to developing fundraising programs. She was a member of the Sylvester Board of Governors as well as on the board of the Founders Society. Denny initiated and funded the concept of “Coupons for a Cure,” a popular Sylvester fundraising tribute and memorial program that Paul and his family continue to support today. The family formed “Team Denny” with Corey and Zack cycling in the Dolphins Cancer Challenge and their father tackling the 5K along with friends and family in memory of their mother. “Team Denny” raised more than $52,000 in their ﬁrst DCC and also participated in the DCC VII in 2017. In 2016, the Feinsilver Family pledged $250,000 to fund pediatric cancer research at Sylvester. The Fund will be used to form a team of researchers to allow the formation for a new Pediatric Cancer Research Institute.
Sylvester Chairman of the Board Issues Matching Gift Challenge
In December 2016, Sylvester Board Chair Adam E. Carlin and his wife, Chanin Hott-Carlin, issued a matching gift challenge to inspire Sylvester’s stakeholders to support cancer center Director Stephen D. Nimer’s vision through the Director’s Strategic Recruitment Fund. All gifts made to the fund by December 31 were matched by the Carlins, resulting in more than $300,000 raised to support Sylvester’s faculty recruitment efforts, which are critical to Sylvester’s goal of achieving NCI designation. The challenge inspired more than 400 donors to support the fund – and three of them were making their ﬁ rst major gifts to the cancer center. Sylvester gratefully acknowledges Adam and Chanin for their success in motivating others to support cancer research.