MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins are making a transformational gift to improving the lives of those impacted by cancer in South Florida with a $75 million commitment to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Health System and South Florida's only NCI-designated cancer center. What began as the Dolphins Cycling Challenge in 2010 will now enter its 11th year with a bold, new resolution: a 100 percent year-round promise to support life-saving cancer research. While the mission remains the same, the organization is taking a 'one team, one fight' mentality that will now be known as Dolphins Challenge Cancer (DCC).
"It is an honor to serve my second year as Chair of the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, particularly during this momentous occasion," said Dr. Jacqueline A. Travisano, EVP and COO of the University of Miami. "This announcement is a true testament to the power of our South Florida community coming together to fund cancer research. The fight against cancer is deeply personal to many, including me. It is only through dedicated teamwork, such as the extraordinary partnership between Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Miami Dolphins, that we can succeed in ending cancer."
The shift to 'challenge cancer' takes the organization beyond a single event to align closer to Sylvester's mission. As the Dolphins Challenge Cancer, the organization will now become a collective movement providing hope to families and friends, coworkers, and neighbors who have been affected by cancer. The DCC is passionately invested in more than 300 doctors and researchers that work to find the cure for your cancer. Beyond looking for just a cure, the research that Sylvester generates also addresses disparities in care for minority communities supports medically-underserved populations; identifies ways to reduce risks for firefighters and other first responders; and promotes preventative care habits, among its many initiatives.
"At a time when our country is facing economic and medical hardships, the health and well-being of the South Florida community, including those affected by cancer, remains a top area of focus for our community efforts," said Miami Dolphins Vice Chairman and CEO Tom Garfinkel. "We continue to be inspired by the high-level research and patient care at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and are proud to expand our support."
To date, the DCC's annual event has raised more than $39 million for Sylvester. As a comprehensive annual campaign, the organization will raise funds year-round in addition to its signature cycling event. These funds will be allocated to support more than 300 active clinical trials, survivorship programs; and advance the research of innovative cancer treatments such as immunotherapy.
"Physicians and scientists at Sylvester are more committed than ever to developing new, more effective, and less toxic ways to treat cancer and to prevent it. We just launched an Experimental Therapeutics program which will accelerate our efforts to bring promising discoveries from our laboratories to our patients. This incredible partnership with the Miami Dolphins has supported vitally important research at Sylvester for a decade. We are extremely grateful for this renewed commitment to continue working side by side in pursuit of new cancer cures," said Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
As part of the DCC's contribution to Sylvester, the University of Miami will be naming the Sylvester Courtyard in the organization's honor. The courtyard will be a tribute to the DCC's supporters past and present and serve as inspiration for future participation. Additionally, the DCC will be recognized at each Sylvester location across South Florida.
"The University of Miami is grateful to the Miami Dolphins Foundation for its renewed commitment to this extraordinary South Florida tradition," said University of Miami President, Julio Frenk. "The DCC has become a beacon of hope in South Florida. Together, we will continue to create a spirit of community around our cherished goal – giving patients the gift of life and freedom from the pain and suffering that comes from fighting cancer."
The DCC will continue to host its marquee event led by its iconic 100-mile ride this spring. On April 10, 2021, DCC XI participants will be able to choose how they engage. That day, they will have the option to ride, run, or walk on the route of their choosing, or in-person at Hard Rock Stadium.
Registration information will become available later this year. Volunteer opportunities will be available.
Visit www.DolphinsChallengeCancer.com for more information and to sign up for updates.
About Dolphins Challenge Cancer
The 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. The DCC's purpose is to improve people's lives through financial support for innovative cancer research at Sylvester, South Florida's only National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center. Sylvester is now among the top cancer centers in the United States and joins a highly select group as one of only two NCI-designated cancer centers in the state of Florida and one of just 71 across the nation. Since its inception, the DCC has raised more than $39.2 million, donating 100 percent of participant-raised funds to Sylvester. For more information, visit www.DolphinsCancerChallenge.com.
About Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth —University of Miami Health System and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is the only cancer center in South Florida designated by the National Cancer Institute. NCI designation recognizes that Sylvester has met the most rigorous standards for cancer research, beginning in our laboratories, extending to patient care, and meeting specific needs in our community. Sylvester is known as South Florida's leader in patient-focused cancer research and care, offering the only Phase 1 Clinical Trials program – the first step in evaluating how patients respond to the latest investigational treatments. NCI designation further expands Sylvester's ability to provide access to novel therapies through more clinical trials and collaboration with other designated centers. Equipped with a highly qualified team of more than 300 cancer-focused physicians and researchers working together, Sylvester discovers, develops, and delivers more precision cancer care. To serve current and future patients, Sylvester has a network of conveniently located outpatient treatment facilities throughout South Florida.