In 2012, Wilmot Cancer Institute held its first Wilmot Warrior Walk to support the newly created Judy DiMarzo Cancer Survivorship Program. The event’s funds now support cancer research at Wilmot, too. Our purpose is not only to celebrate all cancer survivors but also to remember those we’ve lost and to support local cancer research.

As we embark on our fifth year of the Warrior Walk, we are excited to continue offering our 5K, 10K and 1- mile walk as well as our post-race survivor celebration. There are many ways to get involved: Run or walk at the event, participate in a supporting event, consider volunteering or donate to a team.

However you decide to engage, we’re grateful. Your support makes new treatments possible and allows more survivors to have a positive quality of life during and after treatment. Together, we can find better ways to help all who are impacted by cancer. 

Where the Money Goes

Cancer Research at Wilmot Cancer Institute

In addition to specialty cancer care, research is a major part of the work that takes place at Wilmot Cancer Institute. Each day, a team of more than 100 scientists investigate many aspects of cancer.

Funds raised from the Wilmot Warrior Walk and other community events go toward seed grants, which are similar to start-up funds in the business world. They help a researcher or a team of researchers study and collect data on an initial idea.

To receive a Wilmot seed grant, Wilmot researchers submit for funds through an internal application and from there the most promising projects are selected to receive $25,000 or $50,000. In the last five years, Wilmot has awarded over 40 seed grants totaling more than $1.85 million. Your support makes these important grants possible. Stories of two recent recipients are below.

In February 2017, Rakesh Singh, Ph.D., and Scott Gerber, Ph.D., received a $50,000 Wilmot Collaborative Pilot Award to study a novel immunotherapy drug that blocks cancer-promoting immune cells while also stimulating other types of cells that find and destroy tumor cells.

Also in February 2017, Ian Kleckner, Ph.D., received a $25,000 Young Investigator Award to study the effects of exercise on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), which is very common among cancer patients and survivors.  

Judy DiMarzo Cancer Survivorship Program

Today, approximately 15.5 million cancer survivors live in the U.S. and that number is expected to climb to 20.3 million by 2026. It’s exciting to see more people living longer after a cancer diagnosis, but we’ve learned survivors face unique challenges.

In 2012, a gift from Richard DiMarzo in memory of his wife, Judy, helped Wilmot Cancer Institute launch the Judy DiMarzo Cancer Survivorship Program.

Funds raised through the Wilmot Warrior Walk help fund educational opportunities for area primary care physicians, allowing them to learn how to best meet the needs of their cancer survivor patients. Donations raised also contribute to the availability of survivorship appointments, during which patients review their care plans and treatment summaries as well as learn how to maintain good health and positive quality of life as their treatment ends. Learn more about Wilmot’s Survivorship Program.

Since the program started in 2012, approximately 1,500 patients throughout our region have received a survivorship visit. This is all possible because of your support. Thank you.  


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