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Massey Challenge 2022 Teams Spotlight

Apr 11, 2022

Massey Challenge spotlight image

The Massey Challenge and Monument Avenue 10K are back in person this year.  Meet some of the teams who are making their miles matter in the fight against cancer on Saturday, April 23.

At Massey, we’re not just imagining a future without cancer. We’re running toward it together. 

For nearly two decades, Virginians in and around Richmond have stepped up to fight cancer by running or walking as part of the Massey Challenge and the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k .

As the official charitable partner of the 10k, VCU Massey Cancer Center is committed to preventing, treating and, ultimately, curing cancer through research and education and to empowering others to join in the cancer fight. The event is a family-friendly, empowering way to combine being active and fighting cancer by running or walking and fundraising to advance innovative cancer research at Massey to transform and save lives.For registrants of the 10k, it’s also a great way to make your miles matter in the fight against cancer. 

The Massey Challenge and Monument Avenue 10k are back in person this year on Saturday, April 23. The starting line is outside The Stuart C. Siegel Center at VCU, and you can find Massey throughout the day at the race start and finish and all along the Massey Mile. With remote opportunities to participate starting on April 16, everyone can participate in their own way.

Seventeen years. Hundreds of miles. One mission: to fight cancer

The Massey Challenge has welcomed and empowered hundreds of team captains and supporters, covered thousands of miles and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Massey – all with one goal in mind: to fight and cure cancer.

Under the direction of Robert A. Winn, M.D., who took the cancer center’s helm in December 2019, Massey has a bold vision: a future without cancer. And we are more than just imagining it. We are running toward it together:  One step, one mile, one breakthrough, one more life saved at a time.

“Massey is a powerhouse in the fight against cancer,” said Winn, who is actively fundraising as captain of Team Massey Nation and is challenging others across Massey, VCU and the wider community to join him. “I am proud to step up to the Massey Challenge. I’m asking my colleagues at Massey and in the community to join me in the fight by running or walking to raise awareness and funds to support our researchers so we can do what we do best: fight cancer. Together, we can do more than imagine a future without cancer. We can run toward it. One team. One fight against cancer."

The Beam Team, co-captained by Massey radiation oncologists Doug Arthur, M.D., and Emma Fields, M.D., and Team Bust A Move, led by Kandace McGuire, M.D., Massey’s chief of breast surgery, are back this year to defend their reign as the two top fundraising teams in 2021, with more than $17,000 raised for Massey, and are setting their sights even higher in 2022.

Massey Challenge banner

Running alongside Massey in the cancer fight

Other long-standing and new teams are also stepping up to the Challenge, including the young men of St. Christopher’s School and Team St. ChristoCURES , who for 12 years have been engaging the power and energy of young people in the cancer fight and are the current top fundraising team with over $20,000 raised as of this publication; the Tornabene family  and Team Billyieve, who believe in a cure for cancer through the innovative work being done at Massey; Eleanor Templeton who is fundraising For The Mums in honor of her own mother; first-year Team Cindy B. that has already exceeded their fundraising goal ten-fold as a result of an incredible outpouring of support from their community; Team Robert Mason Wood, fighting in memory of the beloved 22-year-old as a way to recognize VCU and Massey’s incredible team of caregivers;  Run, Rodney, Run! Team, a one-person team of Rodney Clark, who was inspired by his grandmother to get active to improve his health.

Every team, every dollar, every mile matters in raising critical funds for Massey.

Will you step up to the Massey Challenge to help make cancer disappear on April 23, 2022?

Join us on Saturday, April 23 for the 2022 Massey Challenge

The 10k’s motto is “It’s not RVA without the 10k.” It’s also not the 10k without the Massey Challenge. With the return of the in-person option plus remote ways to participate, there are countless ways to make your miles matter this April 23. 

Register for the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k and then head over towww.masseychallenge.com to join or donate to an existing team or to create your own.

Massey Challenge 2022 Teams Spotlight

We’re excited to introduce you to these and other Massey Challenge 2022 teams.

Massey Challenge teams are made up of cancer survivors and supporters. They are family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors of those fighting or surviving cancer. They are Massey leaders, doctors, researchers and caregivers. Some teams have been with the Massey Challenge for decades; for some, this is their first year.

Massey Challenge - Massey Nation

Robert A. Winn, M.D., director and Lipman Chair in Oncology at Massey, knows the importance of staying active in the fight against cancer.

Winn is a national leader and a local advocate in the fight against cancer. His vision for a future without cancer has centered on advancing innovative research and expanding education about cancer prevention  among traditionally underserved communities by engaging community and faith leaders and elevating Massey’s stature in national conversations about the cancer fight.

As captain of Team Massey Nation, Winn is actively fundraising through the Massey Challenge and is challenging others to join him. Massey Nation references the team of doctors, researchers, donors, caregivers, patients and community leaders who are standing with us to imagine – and to run toward – a future without cancer through hard work, research and dedication.

“Massey Nation is a powerhouse in the fight to eradicate cancer,” Winn said. “Let's do more than imagine a future without cancer. Let's run toward it and raise money to improve outcomes for all people. Together. "

Winn invites you to step up to the Massey Challenge as part of Team Massey Nation or by creating your own team.

Massey Challenge - ChristoCures

As this year’s top fundraising team with over $20,000 raised and counting as of this publication, the young men of St. Christopher’s School know what it means to step up to fight cancer. Since 2020, with their school community behind them, St. C’s students have supported VCU Massey Cancer Center’s mission to advance cancer research.

Each year, Team St. ChristoCURES hosts an annual 10k to raise awareness and funds by engaging their network of families, alumni and school partners to step up to fight and, ultimately, cure cancer. Sports Backers joins Massey to acknowledge and thank these young people for throwing their creativity and passions into fundraising and for rallying those around them to join in the cause. At Massey, we’re imagining a future without cancer. And, we’re running toward it together.

Join the young men of St. ChristoCURES in the fight against cancer.

Massey Challenge - Billyieve

At Massey, we definitely believe in a future without cancer.

For Team Billyieve captain Mandy Tornabene, who recently celebrated her five-year NED (“No Evidence of Disease”) anniversary, it’s more than a motto. Having faith and believing in the fight against cancer is something that is of paramount importance to her family. After fighting her own battle, the Tornabenes are facing another fight. Her husband Billy is currently fighting stage 4 colon cancer.

The Massey Challenge has become a family affair and a way to fight back and give thanks.  “I am thankful to Massey and other research hospitals,” Mandy said. “Because of all of the amazing work they do, thankfully, Billy is still with us, fighting cancer on a daily basis.”

On her team page, Mandy wrote: “Something I haven’t done since treatment is run a race. At first Everything Hurt from chemo and radiation and I was afraid to… But you know what? To celebrate my five years, I am going to start jogging again. And what better way to ensure that I do than to publicly announce it, fundraise, and start a team! Cancer has taken too much from me, my family, and too many others.”

“I have accepted the Massey Challenge because there is no better way to celebrate being cancer free than to get in shape and raise money to fight cancer!

Support Team Billyieve.

Massey Challenge - Beam Team

For Emma Fields, M.D., and Douglas Arthur, M.D., Massey radiation oncologists and co-captains of The Beam Team,  the Massey Challenge is a way to get focused — laser-focused — on fighting cancer.

Fields, the founding team captain, set the stage last year, championing her team to share the top fundraising spot with more than $17,000 raised. Fields used her creativity last year to engage and empower team members with team t-shirts, constant communication and even cookies for top fundraisers. With Arthur joining the charge this year, the team is setting its sights even higher.

“The Beam Team exemplifies the connection, comradery and commitment of each and every member of the Department of Radiation Oncology family,” Arthur said. “This amazing group of physicians, staff members, volunteers, patients and friends are united in their mission to provide an ever-increasing, outstandingly high level of care and improved treatment outcomes for every individual.”

 

Arthur credits Fields for naming the team and for inspiring the team to raise the bar (and the beam!) after 2021's phenomenally successful team challenge. “We're excited to run with you and for you!” Arthur said of Fields.

Learn more and support The Beam Team. And, listen to Arthur talk about the 2022 Massey Challenge and The Beam Team on WNRN’s Community Connection and watch Fields share her motivations and competitive nature in this video from last year. 

Massey Challenge - Bust a move

Massey’s chief of breast surgery, Kandace McGuire, M.D., sees the Massey Challenge as a way to “bust a move” against cancer.  For McGuire, who watched her own mother battle against breast cancer, fighting cancer is personal, and she is devoted to giving her patients and their families the best treatment options and care  possible. McGuire’s call to “Fight like a Girl” conveys the power of females in the fight to end cancer, whether as a cancer patient, wife, mother or daughter, friend,  neighbor or a Massey breast surgeon. McGuire, who is known for her kindness and compassion and her tenacity in fighting for her patients, tied for the top fundraising team in 2021 with over $17,000 raised each to advance cancer research at Massey, and she  is back to defend her title while setting her sights even higher.

“Although you may have cancer, cancer does not have you. It is time to step up to ensure that every patient and every family live their best lives with cancer and well beyond cancer,” McGuire said. “Through my team, we are busting a move against cancer. Literally.”

Listen to McGuire on CBS 6 Virginia This Morning talking about the Massey Challenge and its impact, alongside Sports Backers’ Pete Woody.  Watch a video of McGuire talking about Team Bust A Move from last year. Join or donate to Team Bust A Move.

Massey Challenge - For the mums

The Massey Challenge is about empowerment in the fight against cancer. For Eleanor Templeton, captain of Team For The Mums, it’s a fight that’s personal.

Templeton is back as a Massey Challenge team captain for the second year. Last year, her Team Scope raised over $4,000 in honor of her mother. This year, she is reinvigorated to raise even more, as her mom faces a recurrence of acute myeloid leukemia, and she is expanding her team to honor “all the mums” and families in the fight.

Earlier this month, Templeton shared this message on her Instagram Reels (Insta @eleanor_templeton) asking for support:  “You know what legs are good for? Running! Which reminds me….  I am running again for my Mom, who is currently fighting acute myeloid leukemia.

“It’s thanks to Massey and the research they are doing every day [that] we have treatment options for my Mom. I would be incredibly touched and honored if you would consider donating out of your weekly coffee budget. Or, you can join my team. Together, we can further cancer research.”

Templeton is grateful to the research that has led to advancements in treatment options. “Thanks to Massey and the research they are doing every day, we have treatment options for my Mom.”

Learn more and support Templeton’s Team For the Mums

Massey Challenge - Wood

First-year Massey Challenge team co-captain Katie Troy and her sister Betsy Lacy created Team Robert Mason Wood to fight cancer in memory of Troy’s beloved 22-year-old son and as a way to recognize VCU and Massey’s incredible team of caregivers.  Wood was just 22 years old when he died of Burkitt's lymphoma on Jan. 11, 2022.

“The doctors and nurses at VCU and Massey were amazing, and I can never thank them enough,” Troy said of the team who cared for her son at Massey and at the respiratory ICU at VCU Health, where he died.

Troy is running toward a future without cancer so that no other mom has to experience a loss like this. And, in addition to raising money for Massey, Troy has become an advocate for blood and platelets donations. “In the last days of my son’s life, there were not enough platelets available in the blood bank to give him what he needed,” she said. “I am now a regular platelet donor and would like to encourage others to donate whenever they can.”

Troy’s original goal for the Massey Challenge was $1,000, but with more than $1,020 raised as of this publication, they are setting their sights even higher.

Learn more and support Team Robert Mason Wood

Massey Challenge - CindyB

“Without the selfless workers at Massey, there is no hope for a cure.”

Team Cindy B. is another new team that is hitting the ground running in the fight against cancer through the Massey Challenge. Team captain Ashleigh Andusko is fundraising in honor of her mom Cindy. Cindy was diagnosed with large B-cell  lymphoma three years ago and continues to fight on the heels of three recurrences in three years. Ashleigh originally set a team goal of $100, and within one week, thanks to the generous support of her community, had raised ten times that. And she is not stopping.

Ashleigh credits “the WONDERFUL staff at the Massey Cancer Center” for caring for her mom and for other family members in the past who have been touched by cancer. “A future without cancer is my family's ultimate dream! Without these selfless workers at the Massey Cancer Center, there is no hope of finding a cure,” Ashleigh said. “I would like to thank everyone who donated to my challenge in honor of my mother.”

She added:“My mother was a teacher in Dinwiddie County for 33 years, and she touched a countless number of lives in those years. To see so many of her former students and their families still care for her is truly heartwarming!”

 

With the power of her family and community by their side, Ashleigh is a true warrior and is proud to be heading up Team Cindy B. to run toward a future without cancer.

“We will NOT let cancer win!,” she said.

Learn more and support Team Cindy B

Massey Challenge - Rodney

Rodney Clark’s team may be small, but it is no less mighty. Clark, captain of the solo team Run, Rodney, Run!, created his team in honor of his grandmother and as part of his own newfound commitment to healthy living.

Clark lost his grandmother, whom he called Nanny, to cancer in 2017. Nanny made an indelible mark on Clark’s self-proclaimed sweet tooth. His Nanny spoiled him, Clark remembers, and was always ready with tons of Carl’s Frozen Custard for her grandson.

At the time of Nanny’s passing, he was not in great health, Clark said. A year later, inspired by Nanny, Clark decided to get in shape — and he did! Clark committed to eating well and started running, which led him to join the 2019 Ukrop’s Monument Ave 10k. He missed 2020, but came back in 2021 to put his endurance to the test once again.

“Participating in the Massey Challenge is a great way to keep the memory of my Nanny alive, and raise money for a fantastic cause and organization like Massey!” Clark said. Clark has already made an impact, having raised over $1,600 over the past few years and has a fundraising goal this year of $1,000.

A future without cancer would mean “living and loving without fear of an awful disease upending life, gut punching those afflicted with cancer and their family,” he said. “Cancer feels like something that just attacks when it feels like it. Let’s not give it that option.”

Learn more and support Team Run, Rodney, Run!

A future without cancer - Massey Challenge image

There is still time to support the Massey Challenge and your favorite team at: www.masseychallenge.com.

Will you step up to the Challenge and help us imagine a future without cancer?

COVID-19 Protocol: One team. One fight.

Protecting individuals and families impacted by cancer and contributing to the overall health of our community are our top priorities at Massey. 

Massey will continue to monitor and follow the latest guidelines from the CDC, State of Virginia and City of Richmond health officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community and event participants. At all in-person events, masks and hand sanitizer will be available, social distancing will be maintained and the wearing of masks will be strongly encouraged.

We are hopeful these changes will allow more opportunities to safely gather to make a difference in the fight against cancer - together. For additional guidelines for the VCU community during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit https://together.vcu.edu/.

 

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