The Miami Dolphins have committed to donate $75 million to cancer research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, an amount they say is the largest ever pledged to a charity by a sports organization. The donation is intended to provide year-round support to South Florida’s premier cancer center.
The Dolphins have partnered with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Health System and South Florida’s only NCI-designated cancer center, since 2010 and now the efforts have been renamed the Dolphins Cancer Challenge movement. In that decade, over $39 million has been raised to support the Center’s initiatives. These include finding a cure for cancer, as well as fighting disparities in care for minority communities, helping medically underserved populations, reducing risks for firefighters and other first responders, and preventative care habits.
“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 Dolphins Cancer Challenge normally hosts an annual cycling event but the team has now committed to a more comprehensive annual campaign, raising funds year-round to support the signature annual cycling effort. More than 300 active clinical trials will be supported via these funds, as well as various survivorship programs and the advancement of breakthrough cancer treatments such as immunotherapy.
“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.”
In recognition of the Dolphins Cancer Challenge’s continuing contributions to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the University of Miami have announced that they will be renaming their courtyard the Sylvester Courtyard. The courtyard will pay homage to past and present supporters of the Dolphin Challenge Cancer and will intend to inspire others for future participation. Each Sylvester location across South Florida will also recognize the Dolphins Cancer Challenge.
“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.
Despite the challenges that the global pandemic has posed, the Dolphins Cancer Challenge is planning to go ahead with its marquee annual event in spring, starting with its famous 100-mile bike ride. The event is due to take place on April 10, 2021, and participants will be able to choose to ride, run or walk on a route of their choice, or with others at the Hard Rock Stadium.
Details on how to register or volunteer will be available online over the coming months.
“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 NFL continued its theme of charity last week as Bills supporters rallied around their franchise quarterback Josh Allen to raise over $200,000 in donations to the Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo in memory of the 24-year-old’s recently deceased grandmother.
“Good morning #BillsMafia On the hospital’s 3rd birthday today, you gave us the best gift by donating over $200,000 in memory of @JoshAllenQB grandmother. And special thanks to the non-Bills fans jumping in to support our cause as well! This is special and we are grateful,” Oishei’s Children’s Hospital posted on social media after the donations were made.
The movement garnered plenty of attention on social media and soon moved beyond just the ‘Bills Mafia’. Fans from all over the world sent both donations and well wishes to Allen, who was quick to express his gratitude for the sentiment and help given to a hospital he has partnered with regularly.