Thousands Raised The Roof At Making Strides

hope socks

Melissa Bryant, who sees Scott Smith, MD, at Duke Women's Cancer Care Raleigh, stopped by the Duke Cancer Institute booth with her son. DCI was the local presenting sponsor of Making Strides 2019.

Tina Piccirilli, administrative director of Duke Cancer Center, was up before dawn setting up the DCI booth. Jackie White, NP, stopped by to help.

Thanks Robbie Tilley of the American Cancer Society (center) for all your help at the DCI booth.

Three-year breast cancer survivor Angie Vega, who was treated by DCI's own Kelly Marcom, MD, celebrates at Making Strides with her husband Dave Izquierdo.

Jennifer Plichta, MD, honorary captain for Team Duke Cancer Center Durham bundles up her baby daughter for the walk.

Gayle DiLalla, MD, honorary captain of Team Duke Women's Cancer Care Raleigh and an ACS board member, takes the stage with CBS 17 news anchors/emcees Bill Young and Felicia Bolton.

Gayle DiLalla, MD, and her family sport pink for Making Strides.

Gayle DiLalla, MD, with her patient Karen Warrick, who joined her team. DiLalla is a surgical oncologist.

Team Millbrook High School were first up at the DCI photo booth.

Kaela and Jennifer are supporting Strides for Sonya.

Rolesville High School girls Morgan, Imani, and Keniya, ham it up for their team! DCI nurse navigator Jo Ann Garofalo is photographer for the day.

DCI photo booth fun, celebrating survivorship!

Janiyah and her dad are supporting "Team We Recover." Sisters Cassidy and Tessa and dog Spike are supporting their NJ grandma who's battling breast cancer.

And they're off....

Jennifer Plichta, MD, hits the trail with her baby daughter.

Latoya and her son Josiah are supporting Team Brenda. Jackie White, NP, and Jennifer Plichta, MD, have their kiddos in tow to support Team Duke Cancer Center Durham.

Audra Lindsley and her daughter Riley support the walkers along the trail that wound through a local Raleigh neighborhood

Fight like a Girl Scout

Real Men Wear Pink, a Campaign, A Movement!

Caden Harris supports his mother Tanya Harris, a 7-month breast cancer survivor (center).

Dukies Jo Ann Garofalo, BSN, RN, CPSN, and Gayle DiLalla, MD, bleed blue

Howdy! Breast cancer survivor Carolyn Tomlinson gathers her friends.

More snapshots from Making Strides 2019!

For a sixth year, Duke Cancer Institute teamed up with the American Cancer Society to serve as local presenting sponsor at the charity’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, held Oct. 19 at Midtown Park at North Hills in Raleigh.

The mood was anything but calm before Saturday night's impending rainstorm. As the morning chill gave way to nearly-blinding sun, patients, survivors and supporters greeted friends old and new with hugs and laughs, snapped dazzling pink selfies, warmed up with zoomba, hoofed it five kilometers up and down local neighborhood hills, and, still in high spirits, ended the event dancing. (see below video)

According to Emily Silva, Making Strides organizer, this year's event attracted 8,500 participants  — a couple thousand more than last year — and raised $260,276 (as of Oct. 21) to support the fight against breast cancer. Eight DCI fundraising teams made up of 64 DCI staff, patients, survivors and supporters, raised more than $4,600 of that total.

"We are just so thrilled with how the event turned out," said Silva. "We’re well on our way to reaching our goal of raising $325,000. While this is fantastic, we know that we still have a lot of work to do in the fight against breast cancer. Our fundraising will be continuing throughout the remainder of the calendar year, so we’re excited to see where we end up!"

Countless participants stopped by the DCI table and picked up free Burt's Bees lip sticks and DCI blue visors handed out by Duke Cancer Center administrative director Tina Piccirilli; Duke Cancer Center Raleigh nurse navigator Jo Ann Garofalo, BSN, RN, CPSN; and Robbie Tilley, Health Systems Manager, Hospitals, for the American Cancer Society's local chapter. Duke Cancer Center Durham and Duke Women's Cancer Care Raleigh team captains — breast surgeon Jennifer Plichta, MD, and breast surgeon Gayle DiLalla, MD, as well as Jackie White, NP, also supported the effort.

I have the privilege to represent Duke Cancer Institute today; I’m one of the breast surgeons that has the honor of taking care of many of you," said DiLalla, taking the event stage with CBS 17 emcees Bill Young and Felicia Bolton and addressing the crowd. "I want to spend a moment telling you how the dollars you've raised today impacts the people I take care of every day. The American Cancer Society supports us in so many ways." 

DiLalla gave a shout out to the American Cancer Society for the free rides to appointments and treatments it gives patients — "It doesn’t matter how good we are and how much we have to offer, if you can’t get to us" —  for the lodging support they provide many patients; for the educational resources, access to support groups, and the 24/7 helpline they offer, and for funding important research "to help improve treatments, help find cures, and help fund prevention."

"So many of our researchers at DCI have benefited," said DiLalla. "To name just a couple, Dr. Shelley Hwang, who leads our breast group, has had many research grants from ACS, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Duke alumnus, who's on our board of trustees, ACS-supported researcher Dr. William Kaelin who was just awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine, bringing the American Cancer Society up to 49 Nobel Prizewinners they've funded."

Since 1957, Duke has been awarded almost $47 million by the American Cancer Society. Last year, Duke received more than $2.5 million in research grants from the ACS. This year, ACS is funding more than $5.5 million in active grants at Duke.

Even though Making Strides 2019 is over, there's still time to support the DCI Making Strides teams.