MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The eighth annual Dolphins Cancer Challenge kicks off Saturday with a number bicycle rides and a 5K run/walk.
The bike rides all end at Dolphin’s Hard Rock Stadium and include a 14 mile ride beginning from Dolphins Training Camp, a 25 mile ride from Esplanade Park in Ft Lauderdale, a 35 mile ride from Watsco Center in Coral Gables, a 52 mile ride from FAU in Boca Raton, and a 100.5 mile ride that begins and ends at Hard Rock Stadium after winding through Miami-Dade and coastal Broward.
All events will culminate in a concert at the stadium featuring the Goo Goo Dolls and Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and tickets are available to the public.
One of this year’s DCC volunteers is cancer fighter Tiffany Davis.
She was a healthy 28-year-old woman when she noticed she had a lymph node swollen under her arm.
She went to the gynecologist, who felt she was young to get a mammogram but ordered one nonetheless.
The doctor then advised her to go back to her gynecologist to get a referral for an ultrasound.
The results came back that day and she was referred to breast surgeon who did a biopsy.
She was at work when she received the voicemail that would change her life – “Being at a young age, doctors will tell you you’re too young for things. And so when I felt the lump I kind of figured it had to be something with the family history” explains Tiffany.
She checked around and wanted to get a second opinion. He aunt worked at University of Miami and after seeing an oncologist there – she preferred Sylvester as the oncologist and surgeon were working together on a solution.
She went through eight rounds of chemo and by the last round on July 10, 2015, the ultrasounds revealed the cancerous tumor had shrunk in size.
“Not knowing what is the end result. Like you wake up knowing that you have to go to your appointments, you do this that, but nothing is guaranteed” said Tiffany.
She had surgery July 24, 2015, removing the tumor from her breast. Pathology reports showed no evidence of the disease.
By mid-September 2015, she started reconstruction and then radiation. From 36 rounds of radiation, a double mastectomy and visiting Sylvester nearly every day, in November of 2015 she was officially in remission.
Her last reconstruction surgery was June 2016. She was undergoing hormone therapy to ensure the amount of estrogen in her body was kept in check as the cancer would spread with a higher evidence of this.
During that time, a close friend and Dolphins employee shared info about the DCC. Together they formed Team Tiff Strong and in February 2016, just months removed from cancer treatments, she participated in DCC, riding 13 miles. Feeling stronger than ever, in February 2017 she rode 25 miles. Tiffany appreciates the participation from other riders and fund raisers saying “What they’re doing is great because all of the proceeds go to Sylvester, and I’m benefitting from that.”
During her last six-month visit in July 2017, the lab results came back abnormal.
At age 31, Tiffany was told she had cancer again and a different kind of cancer. From the radiation and chemo to eradicate her breast cancer, Leukemia has developed in her cells.
She is currently on a clinical trial after first diagnosed to receive a standardized treatment. The standardized chemo and hospitalization began in August with a heavy dose of consolidated chemo treatment.
But by September, the doctor found her body wasn’t as responsive as wished for these treatments and referred her to another oncologist for a clinical trial.
She is in cycle three of the trial, and the doctors say it takes at least six cycles to see how the body is responding. Each cycle is seven days straight at Sylvester, then coming twice a week for labs.
Tiffany’s doctor, Dr. Justin Watts said “Tiffany is really incredibly brave, she’s a real fighter, she’s now fighting her second cancer, this time leukemia, and I would encourage anyone watching her campaign supporting research here.”
“This year I’m not riding due to the leukemia diagnosis but I decided still to volunteer to be in the atmosphere” said Tiffany.
“I still wanted to be involved and since I’m not riding my mom’s going to ride 25 miles for me.”
CBS4 Chief Meteorologist Craig Setzer is riding 100 miles again this year for his mother who suffers from stage four small cell lung cancer even though she never smoked.
Craig knows firsthand the toll cancer takes on a patient and the patient’s friends and family.
You can support Craig and his DCC fund raising efforts by clicking on the link cbsmiami.com/dcc