Rising Rainbows, Celebrating Inclusion and Diversity at Miles for Moffitt

By Jonesa Rodriguez - November 03, 2023

Over the last 18 years, Miles for Moffitt, presented by AutoNation, has gained recognition for many things, like being a premier fundraising event, raising millions for critical cancer research and a place where individuals go to create lasting memories. It is also known for the unique teams that are formed to pay tribute to a cherished loved one, offer encouragement to a friend or simply back the cancer center’s cause. And this year it’s no different. 

UNITY co-chair Justin Hall with Moffitt patient and breast cancer survivor Stacey Bowman at Miles for Moffitt 2022. 
UNITY co-chair Justin Hall with Moffitt patient and breast cancer survivor Stacey Bowman at Miles for Moffitt 2022.

One new team this year is a collaboration between two of Moffitt Cancer Center's team member engagement networks (TMEN): UNITY and the Disability Ability and Wellbeing Network known as DAWN

A first of its kind, the two TMEN groups joined forces to create a team that represented inclusivity for all. They named the team Rising Rainbows. 

“When it was time to think of how UNITY would take part in Miles for Moffitt, I reached out to DAWN to see if they’d be interested in a group team. They were totally onboard,” said Justin Hall, medical laboratory technician and co-chair of UNITY. “It couldn’t have been more of a perfect fit because I am a member of DAWN as well and having a team that represents inclusivity is really what we wanted.”

“UNITY and DAWN created Rising Rainbows as a unified team embracing the overall team member engagement network mission: connecting with others to create an inclusive, accepting and accessible group that welcomes all,” said Daley White, research scientific editor and chair of DAWN. 

Like every Miles for Moffitt team, the group has a traditional fundraising goal, but they also have their minds set on another as well. They want to celebrate inclusion and diversity while contributing to a great cause. 

“Rising Rainbows is excited to participate in Miles for Moffitt because we want to share that inclusivity and diversity are alive and well,” said Hall. “We want to be able to have fun, laugh and make new memories while walking at such an important event.”

Laura Bosselman, UNITY chair, snaps a selfie with Dr. Patrick Hwu, Moffitt president and CEO, at Miles for Moffitt last year.
Laura Bosselman, UNITY chair, snaps a selfie with Dr. Patrick Hwu, Moffitt president and CEO, at Miles for Moffitt last year.

As the excitement builds for Miles for Moffitt 2023, both Hall and White describe the event as a place of hope. 

“When you are at Miles for Moffitt, the energy is unlike anything else. You’d think you’d be sad at an event supporting cancer patients, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” Hall adds. “There are families and friends of former and current patients, laughing and smiling and having a great time. Everyone is brought together for this amazing cause and the energy is electric. It just puts a smile on your face.”

Join the Rising Rainbows team in downtown Tampa on Nov. 18 for the 2023 Miles for Moffitt. For more information or to register, visit MilesforMoffitt.com.

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