Wilmot Cancer Institute to rally community around survivorship, cancer research at fifth annual Wilmot Warrior Walk

Sep. 5, 2017
Wilmot Warrior Walk start line at 2016 event

UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute will host its fifth annual Wilmot Warrior Walk on Sunday, Sept. 10, at the Highland Park Bowl in Rochester. The fundraiser features a certified 5K, certified 10K and a 1-mile walk as well as a post-race celebration. Proceeds support cancer research and the Judy DiMarzo Cancer Survivorship Program at Wilmot Cancer Institute.

“The funds raised through the Wilmot Warrior Walk are critical to helping find new potential cancer treatments and to supporting cancer survivors on their journey,” says Jonathan W. Friedberg, M.D., M.M.Sc., director of Wilmot Cancer Institute. “We invite everyone to join us for what is sure to be an inspirational and meaningful celebration for anyone who has been impacted by cancer.” 

The event has already raised more than $100,000 online and more than 1,000 people who have been impacted by cancer are expected to attend, including Cheryl Pohlman. Her son, Mark Bianchi Jr., was diagnosed with stage 4 large diffuse B-cell lymphoma in 2016. Mark’s parents and other family members formed “Team Mark.” They’ve already raised more than $5,000.

I just think as a community, we need to rally together because if we’re not going to support cancer research and survivorship, who’s going to?

“When someone saves your child’s life you’re committed. You’re loyal,” Pohman says. “I never knew until he was going through this how many people are going through this and it just breaks your heart. I just think as a community, we need to rally together because if we’re not going to support cancer research and survivorship, who’s going to?”

A celebration of cancer survivorship will start at 10:30 a.m. Scott Spezzano from 98.9 the Buzz will serve as emcee and the No Name Band will play live music. The celebration also includes:

  • Bounce houses and face painting for kids and teens
  • Seven food trucks on site (food available for purchase)
  • Free massages given by students from the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage
  • Open-house style yoga – drop in to stretch and relax after your run/walk
  • Community cancer groups with resources for survivors and their families

During a ceremony starting at 11:45 a.m., Wilmot will recognize the top fundraisers as well as the team with the most “team spirit.” The Wilmot Warrior Award will be given to an individual or group who’s championed the Wilmot Warrior Walk cause.

The Wilmot Warrior Walk is sponsored by 98.9 The Buzz, Hammer Packaging, Shadow Lake Golf & Racquet Club, Wegmans, Dunkin Donuts, Morgan Stanley, BME Associates, Ganson Rose Equipment, Texas de Brazil, Manning & Napier, Erdman Anthony, Markin, Crazy Dog T-shirts, USA Payroll, PDQ Delivery, Northwestern Mutual, Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, Mark Kokanovich and Jean Maess.

Registration for the Wilmot Warrior Walk costs $35 per person. Participants can register online through Friday, Sept. 8 at 5 p.m. or the day of the event beginning at 7 a.m. To learn more or register, visit

Having fun at the Wilmot Warrior Walk celebration in 2016


UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute is the Finger Lakes region’s leader for cancer care and research. As a component of Strong Memorial Hospital, Wilmot Cancer Institute provides specialty cancer care services at the University of Rochester Medical Center and a network of locations throughout the region. The Institute also includes a team of 100 scientists who investigate many aspects of cancer, with an emphasis on how best to provide precision cancer care. To learn more, visit