UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute will host its 10th annual Wilmot Warrior Walk on Sunday, Sept. 11 at Genesee Valley Park in Rochester. Participants may also choose to get involved virtually from wherever they are the weekend of Sept. 9 to 11. Registration for the Wilmot Warrior Walk is open now here.
Participants may choose to do a 5K run, 5K walk or a 1-mile walk, and everyone is welcome to join for the post-race celebration that will include music, food trucks, bounce houses, and more.
Proceeds support cancer research and the Judy DiMarzo Cancer Survivorship Program at Wilmot Cancer Institute, the largest organization performing cancer research in the Rochester region.
“We are very excited to be back in person and also to be celebrating the 10th year of this wonderful community event,” says Jonathan W. Friedberg, M.D., M.M.Sc, director of Wilmot Cancer Institute. “This has always been such a great day not only because it raises funds for an important cause, but because it is a celebration of survivorship. I look forward to seeing many survivors, their families and the community come together.”
Since the event began in 2013, it’s raised more than $1 million for cancer research and care happening in the Rochester and the surrounding regions. This year, the goal is to raise more than $250,000.
For pancreatic cancer survivor Angela Uttaro, participating in the Wilmot Warrior Walk is a way to give back after losing people she cared about to cancer. First, her godmother died from ovarian cancer about a decade ago. Two friends’ moms passed away from lung cancer a while later. All three were named Mary. Hence, Angela’s fundraising team, Mary’s Angels, was born.
She adopted a clever tagline: “The life you save may be your own – or someone you like even better!”
And then about five years ago, it indeed became her own life on the line, when she found out she had pancreatic cancer.
Her cancer was found by mistake but her primary care doctor as well as her surgeon and oncologist at Wilmot Cancer Institute worked with Uttaro to treat her cancer.
“I’m still here to tell the tale,” she says. “So I run at 1,000 mph with my hair on fire to help look for cures.”
The event is not only meant to be a fundraiser, but also a celebration of cancer survivorship. Teams are encouraged to wear festive team shirts or even costumes. In the past, Uttaro’s Mary’s Angels team donned team T-shirts and halos.
The Wilmot Warrior Walk sponsors include M and E Vacation Rentals, Summit Federal Credit Union, Texas de Brazil, Team Hilbert of Keller Williams Realty Greater Rochester, Crazy Dog T-Shirts, Ryder, Vault Cycle and Fitness, and Wegmans. Sponsorships opportunities are still available. Contact (585) 276-4717 or [email protected] to learn more.
Registration for the Wilmot Warrior Walk costs $35 per person. To learn more or register, visit here.