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Miami Dolphins Boast Record-Breaking Participation and Fundraising at 14th Annual Dolphins Challenge Cancer, surpassing $75M Commitment in Support of Innovative Cancer Research

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins joined forces with the South Florida community for the 14th annual Dolphins Challenge Cancer (DCC XIV), raising funds for innovative cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System. Participants biked 13, 39, 54 or 99 miles – distances that represent the jersey numbers of Dolphins Pro Football Hall of Famers – or ran or walked the 5K, with the shared purpose of challenging cancer on Saturday, February 24, at Hard Rock Stadium.

As the NFL's largest fundraising event, DCC XIV united a record-breaking 6,702 participants and raised over $12 million – surpassing last year's record of $10.5 million raised to fulfill the organization's $75 million commitment to Sylvester, which is the largest known philanthropic pledge in sports. In November 2020, Miami Dolphins leadership made a commitment to raise $75 million for cancer research by 2026 through the DCC, and now that pledge has been fulfilled more than two years ahead of schedule.

"We are incredibly proud and grateful for the collaborative support of this community in the fight against cancer," said Javier Sanchez, Dolphins Challenge Cancer Executive Director. "To have already fulfilled the pledge we made in 2020 is a testament to the vision of our organizational leadership and the investment and dedication of so many people in this community, who annually come together to make an impact, each year seemingly larger than the last. From the 370 organizations, 6,702 participants, more than 20 Dolphins players, coaches and numerous staff and community partners, it is inspiring to see what can happen when an entire community joins together for a common goal. We are as driven as ever before to continue creating new opportunities for improved cancer care and treatment here in South Florida, where 100 percent of every dollar raised supports Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to fund lifesaving research."

This year's record-breaking event featured facility updates to showcase even more of the global sports and entertainment destination that is Hard Rock Stadium – moving event festivities to the Miami International Autodrome (MIA) Paddock Club building adjacent to the stadium, with the participant and fan experience in mind. DCC XIV integrated the MIA facilities, which included the Paddock garages, the start/finish line of the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix and the Paddock Club, providing fans and participants with more shaded and air-conditioned areas throughout the festival.

"We have been able to accomplish so much at Sylvester and make important progress in cancer research based on support from the entire South Florida community and our incredible partnership with the Miami Dolphins," said Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., director of Sylvester, Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, and executive dean for research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "With more effective and less toxic treatments, we have more survivors than ever before. I'm thrilled to participate year after year in the DCC. It is always a fun event, celebrating survivors and raising money for research so more people can beat cancer and join us next year."

The popular philanthropic event, first established in 2010 to raise awareness and resources in honor of former Dolphin Jim "Mad Dog" Mandich, quickly gained the support of the South Florida community joined by members of the Miami Dolphins organization. This year, DCC XIV brought a fresh take to its previous bike rides with new ride distances – named in honor of Miami Dolphins players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame – including the 13-mile Dan Marino ride presented by Aetna, the 39-mile Larry Csonka ride presented by Robins and Morton, the 54-mile Zach Thomas ride and the 99-mile Jason Taylor ride. Participants were also given the opportunity to run or walk with the DCC 5K presented by Amazon or volunteer at the event in continuation of fulfilling the DCC's $75M commitment in support of cancer research at Sylvester.

More than 20 Dolphins players and head coach Mike McDaniel participated in the event, from riding to walking to handing out medals at the finish line, along with numerous alumni and Dolphins executives, including Dolphins Chairman of the Board/Managing General Parter Stephen M. Ross and Vice Chairman, President and CEO Tom Garfinkel.

Riders began and ended their journey at the MIA racetrack's start/finish line, while supporters and fans cheered on riders from the Mad Dog Cheer Zone presented by AutoNation DRV PNK adjacent to the finish line. To conclude the event, participants celebrated at the Finish Line Festival, with those who surpassed a fundraising goal of $3,000 partaking in the Heavy Hitter experience presented by Berkowitz Pollack Brant & Provenance Wealth Advisors, all culminating at the post event concert featuring 10-time Grammy Award winner and recording artist Chaka Khan. The Living Proof Program presented by Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation had over 450 survivors participate in festivities. The Lennar Foundation, a legacy partner and one of the event's largest organizational donors, stepped up for its 13th consecutive year to support the DCC, bringing their fundraising total over the history of the DCC to $17 million.

The Dolphins Challenge Cancer (DCC) was founded in 2010 by the Miami Dolphins organization as the signature initiative of the Foundation's health impact area and has become the largest fundraising event in the NFL. In November 2020, the organization announced a $75 million commitment to Sylvester, donating 100 percent of participant-raised funds to further life changing treatment. The DCC's purpose is to improve people's lives through financial support for innovative cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Health System. For more information, visit

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