About Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge
DFMC Turns 25!
The Barr Program Is Founded
The Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research was established in 1987 by Dana-Farber Trustees Delores Barr Weaver and her husband, Wayne, in memory of Delores' mother. The Barr Program exemplifies the power of philanthropy in propelling completely new lines of research. It plays a pivotal role in the development of early-career scientists who work on a broad range of research investigations in order to yield new clues about cancer. It is also critical for conducting basic research, which is not eligible for federal fundraising until well along in proof of principle.
The program enables leading-edge, highly-innovative research up to the point that it may be possible to attract government or private support, allowing Barr Investigators to bring promising studies forward and make major scientific breakthroughs.
DFMC Takes Its First Steps
In April 1989, Harvard freshman Michael Silverstein ran the Boston Marathon® in memory of his friend Seth Feldman, a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute patient who had recently succumbed to a brain tumor. Mike's run raised more than $35,000 for Dana-Farber. Inspired by Mike’s fundraising endeavors, the Weavers offered a $50,000 "Challenge grant" to Dana-Farber to organize a Boston Marathon team that would raise funds for the Barr Program.
Simultaneously, Bill and Peter Santis, grandsons of Institute founder Sidney Farber, M.D., contacted Dana-Farber looking for a novel way to support the Institute. The Santis brothers helped recruit fellow athletes, and, on Monday, April 16, 1990, nineteen runners laced up their running shoes to raise funds for the Barr Program by running the 94th Boston Marathon. The runners raised $51,000, and earned the Weavers' "Challenge grant" for a season total of $101,000.
The 25th Running
Now in its 25th season, DFMC’s annual roster has blossomed to include hundreds of dedicated athletes who share the Weavers’ vision of a world without cancer. Setting their sights equally high, DFMC runners embark on their own Boston Marathon journey to raise millions of dollars as a team in honor and in memory of their loved ones.
One hundred percent of the funds raised by DFMC team members support Barr Program research. To date, DFMC has raised more than $61 million, and nearly 200 innovative scientific investigations have received critical funding. In 2014, the team aims to celebrate its 25th year by raising $5.3 million.
Barr Program Impact
The Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is widely recognized as one of the largest and most successful programs of its kind. Based on a rigorous and highly selective process, the Barr Program funds the brightest, most creative scientists making basic research discoveries that are transforming cancer treatment. Barr Investigators have made numerous major breakthroughs resulting in improved survival rates and quality of life for thousands of patients everywhere.
Here are brief descriptions of selected projects supported by the Barr Program, illustrating some of the program's most significant impacts to date, and a one-page graphic that summarizes four key areas of Barr Program impact.
One hundred percent of the funds raised by DFMC team members support Barr Program research initiatives.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
"Dedicated to Discovery. Committed to Care." This is the mission of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, described as "one of the world's premier cancer centers" by the National Cancer Institute. Founded in 1947 by Sidney Farber, MD, DFCI is renowned for its unique blend of basic and clinical research, and for using its discoveries to improve the treatment of adults and children with cancer. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and one of 40 nationally designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. A teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber is also one of 20 federal centers for AIDS research in the U.S. more
The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks among the most prestigious road racing events. The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) manages this American classic, which is sponsored by John Hancock Financial Services. Since its inception in 1897, the Boston Marathon has distinguished itself as the pinnacle event within the sport of road racing by virtue of its traditions, longevity, and method of gaining entry into the race via time qualification.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is indebted to the B.A.A. for its longtime partnership and ongoing support.
Learn more about the B.A.A. and the Boston Marathon®.
Boston Marathon®, B.A.A. Marathon™ and the B.A.A. Unicorn Logo are registered trademarks of the Boston Athletic Association. The Boston Marathon® name and logo are used with permission from the B.A.A. by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which is part of the B.A.A.’s Official Charity Program for the Boston Marathon. Use of the B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon name and marks without written permission from the B.A.A. is strictly prohibited.