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Teams…the Heart and Sole of Reaching for the Cure

Let’s hear it for all the teams who are getting ready to cross the tape for kids with cancers. So far, 50 teams are participating in our event and there’s still more than a month until the Race! Our teams do more than just fundraise. They are the passionate, creative, motivated, behind-the-scenes members of our community who walk or run because they know that Every Step Counts when it comes to advancing pediatric cancer research.

Over the past several months, we’ve enjoyed getting better acquainted with some of the Team Captains and wanted to give you the chance to get to know them, too. Below, meet five Team Captains who have been personally affected by pediatric cancers and are determined to make strides for research.

Team Captain Event

Patrick Dyas – Team “Runners for Remission”

Patrick is running to honor the memory of his late cousin, John Mash Jr., affectionally known as “Masher”. Masher received a Leukemia diagnosis at the age of two and was cancer free at five. Sadly, at the age of 16 he was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme. To all the cousins of the family, their older cousin Masher was larger than life and was adored by all that were around him. It is safe to say Masher lived his short life to the very fullest.

Patrick Dyas

Piper W. – “Team Piper”

Piper is cancer free, having been diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 8 years old. She is currently attending the University of Vermont where she is pursuing a career in education. Piper is a deserving recipient of the PCRF Survivor Scholarship and now she is leading a virtual Reaching for the Cure team on her college campus.  Piper told us “As a survivor, one of my passions is helping children who may be undergoing treatment or are in remission. I focus a lot of my volunteer efforts towards making a difference in children’s lives. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to make a difference!”


Will Chipp – Team “Cure-Saders”

Meet Will Chipp, 15 years old and a freshman at Servite High School, in Anaheim, CA. Will’s sister was diagnosed with Leukemia at 10 months old. In her honor, he has chosen PCRF as his freshman service project where he is volunteering, raising funds and spreading awareness about the realities of pediatric cancers. Will’s family, friends and classmates are participating in Reaching for the Cure in hopes that “the funds raised by PCRF will help other families to have a successful outcome like ours.”

Team Cure-Sanders

Shannon Waffle – “Team Wynter”

Wynter was a happy and healthy baby who was hitting all her regular wellness milestones; however, she didn’t enjoy spending time on her stomach. At 9 months old, Wynter was diagnosed with Wilms’ Tumor. The tumor was 1.1 pounds, representing 7% of her body weight. At 16 months old, Wynter got to ring the bell and now is cancer free. The following quote located on the oncology ward at CHOC helped Shannon through the days of treatment, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles”.

Team Wynter

AJ Kirkwood – Team “Kids4Kids”

A.J. Kirkwood and Associates is proud to be a sponsor of PCRF’s Reaching for the Cure. Carlos Bello, Director of People and Culture, organizes these events for his employees for two reasons. As he explains, “I like to encourage employees to start thinking about their health and I like to identify worthwhile causes that we could all get behind as a company.” Carlos is admittedly personally invested in pediatric cancer research. Each year he runs to honor the memory of his dear friend’s son, Jeff Zamora, who lost his battle to pediatric cancer 18 years ago.

Team Kids4Kids

If these stories motivate you and you have an interest in starting your own team, please contact srichter@pcrf-kids.org or visit the Reaching for the Cure 2024 Website.

Also know that you are welcome to come all on your own or with a friend or partner.  Whatever you choose, we’d love to have you join us on March 24!