MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For more than a decade, the Dolphins Challenge Cancer event has brought together people from all over South Florida with a goal that goes far beyond a medal.
Racers hit the road Saturday to walk, bike or run in order to help fund cancer research.READ MORE: Authorities Respond To Reports Of Shots Fired At Aventura Mall
The DCC had more than 2,500 participants this year, both in-person and even virtually.
“This is one of the greatest things the Miami Dolphins do,” said famed former Dolphins wide receiver, Nat Moore. “This is the largest fundraiser in the NFL. There’s 32 teams, and nobody does it like we do here.”
With rides ranging from 15 to 100 miles, the bikers grabbed their helmets and their masks. The effort, though, extended far beyond the finish line.
“It’s raising money for a great cause, and that’s what it’s all about, said former Dolphins cornerback, Don McNeal. “You’ve got to give back and that’s what I am trying to do.”
Some said they were riding for those who have lost their battles.READ MORE: Citizen Initiatives Will Be Harder To Get On Florida Ballot
“My best friend just passed away in January. He lost his fight with cancer,” said Alison Gadia, who used to be a Dolphins cheerleader. “I have ridden in the DCC in the past, when he was alive, but now that he has passed, I am riding in his honor.
Others were riding for the survivors.
“About 15 years ago, she was diagnosed with appendix cancer. It’s a very rare cancer,” said Aaron Tarka, speaking about his mother. “But, thankfully, she’s still around today. She got treatment. She’s still kicking and still fighting, so I am fighting for her.”
Saturday’s participants continued a legacy of teaming up and stepping up to the challenge.
“When you turn around and see, 11 years later, all the people participating and all the money we raised, it just goes to show you this is a great community to be a part of,” Nat Moore said. “And as long as we continue to come together, it makes it a better place to live.”MORE NEWS: Hemingway Look-Alike Contest Returns To Florida Keys
Dolphins Challenge Cancer has pledged a goal of raising $75 million. All proceeds from the races go to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.