Cancer Chomp 2023: Strength in the journey

Cancer Chomp 2023 participants in front of a building
Mike Nesius (second from right, in pink) ran the race while wearing his Optune device and sleeve bag. He is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor and placed second in the men’s 5K!

The spirit of hope shone brightly as Cancer Chomp 2023 was held at the UF Cancer & Genetics Research Complex last month. Hosted by the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy and the Lillian S. Wells Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida, this event, now in its second year, celebrated the courage of patients, families and supporters in the battle against brain cancer.

The event raised over $50,000 and all proceeds will support patients and their families undergoing brain tumor treatment at UF Health. This support often includes lodging assistance, gas cards, help with medication copays and the purchase of medical equipment not covered by insurance.

“This funding enables a patient to overcome a variety of barriers to care they may face and in this way, our community is helping to give our patients their best shot at beating their disease,” said Jennifer St. Clair, LCSW, OSW-C, a clinical social worker in the division of pediatric hematology/oncology.

Participants navigated the scenic 5K route around Lake Alice, known as “the boot.” First, second and third place finishes in the men, women and children’s categories were awarded. The event also offered a virtual 5K, allowing supporters from all locations to contribute to the cause at their own pace. Food trucks, a Kid Zone, community organizations and vendors, mini therapy horses, UF mascots and the Gator Marching Band were some highlights of the day.

Thank you to the following sponsors: Bartlett Custom Homes, Brandon Construction Company General Contractors, Inc., Climb for Cancer Foundation, Earthscapes, Marc Radio, Nelson Construction, Phoebe Louise Dooley Foundation, Shutts Attorneys at Law, TDC Entertainment, UF Health Cancer Center, Visit Gainesville Alachua County, FL, WCJB TV20 and Wellness360.

Neurosurgeons at the Lillian S. Wells Department of Neurosurgery at UF are dedicated to providing leading-edge, compassionate care for children and adults while conducting unparalleled research for neurosurgical conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

UF Health Neurosurgery uses comprehensive treatment programs, including minimally invasive surgical options for the treatment of brain tumors, neurovascular diseases, functional disorders and other complex conditions. The highly trained neurosurgeons use a patient-centered approach. Because no two individuals respond the same to any treatment, the multidisciplinary team of specialists provides highly individualized diagnostics and treatment plans. The ultimate goal is to provide the optimal patient experience.

Gift Icon


UF Health Neurosurgery

Your gift to Cancer Chomp supports UF Health and the Lillian S. Wells Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida.