Another Record-Breaking Year for Dolphins Cancer Challenge

The 14th annual Dolphins Cancer Challenge broke records again, with roughly $12 million raised by 7,000 runners and bikers.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Dolphins Cancer Challenge — held on a perfect winter morning here Saturday — has again reset the bar in fundraising.

The 14th annual bike and 5K is believed to have raised a record $12 million for the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center — an NCI-designated research facility that is widely seen as a leader in its field. The 14-year total raised is roughly $75 million.

Dolphins Cancer Challenge Raises $12M for Research

Roughly 7,000 people biked and rode Saturday, including Dolphins players past and present, such as Hall of Famer Zach Taylor and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.

Also among the participants: Roughly 460 cancer survivors, including many treated down the road at Sylvester.

“This event existed when I got here,” said Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel. “All I’ve tried to do is just rally everybody to grow it further. And every year, we grow it, and it’s very meaningful. I mean, we’re going to have over 7,000 participants. I think we should be over $12 million this year, which is incredible.”

“What this does is provide money for research, for clinical trials,” he added. “I have people literally hug me and say, ‘This saved my life.’ So that’s incredible.

“And Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center now, and Dr. [Stephen] Nimer has told me that it’s because of what we’ve done here and now more than $75 million we’ve raised. So it’s just very rewarding. Cancer is something that affects everybody. It’s amazing to see a community come together like this.”

The event was bittersweet, however, for those who knew Jason Jenkins, the Dolphins’ late VP who spearheaded many of the franchise’s charitable and community endeavors.

Jenkins’ widow, Liz, took over as the DCC Board Chair upon her husband’s death.

“It’s hard for me to talk about, but he’s always on my mind and heart,” Garfinkel said. “Days like today, I definitely think about it more. You know, I’m just so proud of Liz, his wife, and what she’s done.

“… She’s stepped into the leadership and has done an amazing job to honor Jason and his legacy. It’s a little bit sad and happy at the same time. I’m so proud of Liz and what she’s done, and Jason would be so proud. And so we try to focus on the positive and honor him.”

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The DCC will continue collecting donations through mid-March. If you are interested in giving, click here.

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