By Guest Writer - September 19, 2023
Jennifer Chriss and Jill Godfrey Rupp spend every day giving Moffitt Cancer Center patients “a warm greeting and a warm handoff.”
That’s how they describe their job, which is to make sure patients feel fully supported as they get to their scheduled medical screenings and treatments at the cancer center.
On Nov. 18, Chriss, Godfrey Rupp and co-workers from Moffitt’s Patient Experience Department will support patients in a different way — by participating in Miles for Moffitt presented by AutoNation to raise money for cancer research.
“Our Miles for Moffitt team allows us to give back,” said Godfrey Rupp, a patient flow coordinator at Moffitt. “We have a very close-knit group, and it’s touching to know that our team has grown to include patients, families and members of Moffitt’s Patient and Family Advisory Committee.”
Their Miles for Moffitt team is called Heart & Sole. The team began in 2019 with about 20 participants and grew to 72 members last year, raising $9,906. Chriss said she sometimes hears from people who aren’t up for running or who don’t want to do the walk alone, so she tells them everyone is welcome to join their team.
Heart & Sole was born to honor Margie Schwerdt, a beloved Moffitt team member “who offered encouragement and unconditional love to all who passed her post at the Gold Valet information desk.” She passed away in 2018 after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
Patient Experience team members work closely with patients, welcoming them to Moffitt and offering encouragement. That’s the warm greeting. They also listen to concerns, iron out kinks and get patients to their appointments on time. That’s the warm handoff.
When Heart & Sole shows up at Miles for Moffitt, it’s a reunion of sorts. They spot plenty of patients, survivors and family members they have worked with in the past.
“It’s so rewarding on the day of the event to see so many survivors and thrivers we know,” said Chriss, also a patient flow coordinator at Moffitt.
For the past 18 years, Miles for Moffitt has raised $11 million supporting lifesaving cancer research at Moffitt. The funding also helps Moffitt researchers pilot new discoveries to create innovative and advanced treatments that improve the lives of our patients and families.
Last year’s event raised more than $1.4 million for that cause.
“Miles for Moffitt is an opportunity to recognize the work Moffitt does every day, to build community and to support our research efforts,” Chriss said.
Godfrey Rupp agrees.
“It’s an inspiring event, and we are inspired by our patients every day. We are just in awe of them.”
Join Chriss, Godfrey Rupp and the Heart & Sole team in downtown Tampa on Nov. 18 for the 2023 Miles for Moffitt. For more information or to register, visit MilesforMoffitt.com.