Jun 09, 2020 3:00 PM


With each pedal stroke, step forward, and dollar raised, individuals and teams are helping us support cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute. The Huntsman SportsFest is more than an endurance event bringing runners, walkers, and cyclists together for an athletic challenge. It is a day dedicated to seeing a cancer-free world.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year will look a little different. Instead of hosting an in-person event, we will hold a virtual one. Some participants will join us from the road, others from the trails. Some from their in-home gyms, and some from their gardens. Virtual means any activity from anywhere.

Larry Peterson
Larry Peterson and Ravell Call

Regardless of how people participate, they are motivated to join this year’s event because cancer is personal. “You will never know when all of those resources you have fundraised will become more than something for somebody else,” says Larry Peterson. Larry joined the Huntsman Heroes team in 2007 when his sister was being treated for breast cancer. “Little did I know at the time, Huntsman Cancer Institute would soon become my lifeline as well,” he explains, since being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Larry’s motivation is echoed by many Huntsman SportsFest participants—some of whom share their stories here.  

RUNNING SO ONE DAY NOBODY ELSE WILL HEAR THOSE WORDS

“The emotions from hearing the words, ‘you have cancer’ can’t be explained,” says John Maack, Huntsman Hero and non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer survivor. “I run in the Huntsman SportsFest because it is personal. I run so one day nobody else will have to hear those words.”

John and Carol Maack
John and Carol Maack

On June 20,  2020 John will run on the trails in Utah and will focus on his own experience with cancer. He plans to remember and honor those who have contributed before he was ever diagnosed, so that he could have treatment options to save his life. He says, “You hear among cancer patients, no one survives the experience of this disease alone. It may sound a little cliché, but you don’t.”

Ashley and Neil Hafer began their relationship with Huntsman Cancer Foundation nearly 10 years ago through running. The Hafers say, “If one cancer case is diagnosed earlier, one treatment more tolerable, one radiation session less damaging through our participation and donations, then we have made a difference.”

CYCLING IN HONOR OF THOSE WE HAVE LOST

Haley Ehlers will join virtually from the Netherlands. She will ride the iconic 140 miles (260 kilometers) the day of the event. She says, “I participate in the Huntsman SportsFest in honor of my dad, Richard Ehlers, who I lost eight years ago to kidney cancer.”

Haley Ehlers
Haley Ehlers

Haley grew up in Park City, Utah, and has seen many friends and neighbors treated at HCI. It wasn’t until she lost her father that she realized the impact cancer research can have on people’s lives. She says, “I am grateful to have the opportunity to fundraise for this institution that I have seen help the people that I love.”

PARTICIPATING BECAUSE CANCER AFFECTS EVERYONE  

Huntsman Cancer Foundation major gifts officer Brad Bishop will participate by working in his yard on June 20, 2020. He says, “Although we are virtual this year, the struggle against cancer is not. Now more than ever we need to contribute to cancer research.” He will participate in honor of those he has lost, including his father who passed away from prostate cancer.

There are so many participants impacted by cancer who are committed to raising funds for research. Join them, and help make a difference in cancer research on June 20, 2020, by participating in the Huntsman SportsFest.


About Huntsman SportsFest:

The Huntsman SportsFest is usually an endurance event bringing runners, walkers, and cyclists together for more than just an athletic challenge, but also for a day of fighting cancer by supporting research at Huntsman Cancer Institute. This year, instead of hosting an in-person event, things will be held virtually. The event will still bring runners, walkers, cyclists, and supporters together for a day of fighting cancer from the road, a trail, your backyard, or even from the couch. Join as an individual, a family, or a socially distant team to run, walk, or ride on June 20. Go to huntsmansportsfestival.com to find out more and to register.

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