September 21—22, 2024


About the event

In 2023, the Wilmot Cancer Institute launched its Wilmot Warrior Weekend to raise money for cancer research and survivorship programs. You may be familiar with the longstanding Wilmot Warrior Walk + 5K, which is now part of Warrior Weekend along with the new cycling event - the Wilmot Breakaway Ride. Patients, family, friends, University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and University of Rochester faculty and staff, and sponsors came together to bond and express their gratitude through fundraising—pledging more than $353,000 for cancer research and survivorship programs.

The 2024 Wilmot Warrior Weekend is building on last year’s success by combining the Wilmot Breakaway Ride and Wilmot Warrior Walk + 5K into a massive single-day celebration on Sunday, September 22. Packet pick-up and the kickoff celebration will be held the day before on Saturday, September 21.

Your support translates into real impact. Here’s how.

Warrior Weekend Team Science Award

This award, funded by Warrior Weekend success, provides critically important seed funding for researchers to get their innovative ideas off the ground. Each year teams of research scientists will compete for this prestigious award. This year, Wilmot leadership presented the first-ever award to Brian Altman, PhD, and Minsoo Kim, PhD, who are investigating whether a disruption in circadian rhythms, or what is known as the “biological clock” or “sleep-wake cycle” makes cancer cells less receptive to immunotherapy.

Cancer Research at the Wilmot Cancer Institute

Our researchers and clinician-scientists remain dedicated to continuing the quest to conquer all cancers.

Wilmot Cancer Institute scientists have a history of groundbreaking discoveries in cancer. For example, Wilmot researchers aided in two of the top five cancer discoveries of the past 50 years, as cited by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). These two achievements were contributions to the HPV cervical cancer vaccine and pioneering work toward anti-nausea therapies to help patients tolerate chemotherapy.

Wilmot is at the epicenter of cancer control research, as one of two U.S. hubs for the National Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). We are a trailblazer in aging and cancer research, helping write evidence-based guidelines for managing older patients taking chemotherapy and starting one of the nation's first geriatric oncology clinics.

Wilmot is at the forefront of lymphoma research by often leading the nation in clinical trial accruals, holding top positions in key organizations including the SWOG lymphoma committee, and being among the first institutions to offer cellular (CAR T-cell) therapy backed by ongoing research.

Our scientists remain as dedicated as ever. We have recently recruited an impressive new group of investigators, all top-flight in their fields. These scientists complement our existing team and represent the next generation, eager to fight cancer from all angles.

They bring new perspectives, energy, and expertise in managing big data. Our researchers are studying circadian rhythms and sleep cycles; leukemia stem cells and how to use the latest CRISPR technology to identify targetable genes; and how antioxidants fuel cancer cells. They are also looking at genetic biomarkers, RNA’s role in tumors and genome mapping, epigenetics, and cancer cell programming. This group thrives on collegiality and welcomes support as they help patients and to bring new ideas to light.

Learn more about other efforts.

Judy DiMarzo Cancer Survivorship Program

Today, approximately 16.9 million cancer survivors live in the U.S. and that number is expected to climb to 21.7 million by 2029. It is exciting to see more people living longer after a cancer diagnosis, but we have 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.

A portion of funds raised support Wilmot’s survivorship clinic. Patients are referred by their oncology team if they are experiencing challenges that need special attention. They start with a questionnaire that gives the team a good idea of their specific challenges. Then, they meet with the program’s nurse practitioner who provides information and coaching as needed to help guide patients successfully through these challenges. This is in addition to ongoing surveillance of their cancer with their main oncology team.

The Survivorship Program also offers educational programs for physicians, patients and families. Learn more about Wilmot’s Survivorship Program.