Sporting events have become a popular means of engaging patient communities in support of pressing issues in healthcare, raising awareness about diseases, and increasing funding. Last Monday, September 15th, during the annual conference of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), more than 200 runners came together for the 5th annual 5K Run for the Future held at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The event was made possible by Radiation Business Solutions, in cooperation with Elekta Inc., Varian Medical Systems, AE Design, and Northwest Medical Physics Center for the benefit of the Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI).
Radiation Business Solutions’ CEO, Dan Moore, noted that even days after the run, they are still receiving donations. Excluding these post-event contributions, the company was able to raise more than $70,000. This is a significant jump from 2013’s pooled donations, which amounted to $24,000. Overall, this yearly run has pledged more than $150,000 worth of donations, registration fees, and company funding to the ROI.
The run’s new theme for its 5th leg this year was the “Academic Team Challenge,” wherein six academic institutions vied for a $1,000 scholarship. Competing against each other were the following schools: University of Alabama Birmingham, Team Mayo, Wash-U St. Louis, UC Davis, and the University of Wisconsin Badgers. Team Mayo’s top 3 runners’ run times averaged 20:35, enabling them take home the scholarship and a trophy.
Many of the runners were doctors, students of medicine, and other accomplished individuals in the field of radiation therapy and research. The winner in the Male Runner category was Matt McCurdy, M.D., Ph.D. from Marshfield Clinic, who finished the run in 15:52. Among the female runners, Megan Daly, M.D. from UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center finished first in 18:55.
Thanks to fundraisers like these, many research and development initiatives in radiation therapy have brought new hope to thousands of cancer patients. One advancement in RT, which upholds the standard of personalized patient care is ViewRay’s adaptive radiation therapy through its novel MRIdian System which employs real-time tissue visualization and radiation dose adjustment.