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This will be Janelle Morales’s fifth consecutive year participating in Miles for Moffitt. Morales, department supervisor for Moffitt Cancer Center’s Department of Head and Neck-Endocrine Oncology, is the team captain for Cancer Crushers. 

“I knew I wanted a name that would represent and support all cancers,” Morales said.

Since the team’s inception in 2016, Cancer Crushers has raised approximately $86,000 for cancer research at Moffitt.. 

“Our team is made up of many different participants – from Moffitt physicians and support staff, to friends of friends,” Morales shared. “Everyone is welcome to join!”

The Cancer Crushers host several fundraisers throughout the season to help them reach their goals. 

“We take pride in the fact that we are a grassroots team,” Morales said. “We have the passion and drive to raise funds for critical cancer research at Moffitt. We want to do everything we can to help find a cure and give patients a chance at a long functioning life.” 

Morales initially got involved with Miles for Moffitt in memory of her aunt Menchie, who passed away from cancer in 2009. 

“She was in her late thirties and left behind a young daughter,” Morales shared. “In 2016, I was diagnosed with stage I invasive ductal carcinoma. I was very fortunate to only have had early stage breast cancer, so I knew I needed to do something to increase survival rates. My personal battle with cancer ignites me to help others facing a diagnosis.”   

Team Cancer Crushers is consistently one of Miles for Moffitt’s top fundraisers. Morales shared this advice for other participants looking to raise money to support a great cause.

Janelle Morales

Cancer survivor and Cancer Crushers team captain, Janelle Morales

“You do not need to have a lot of money to raise a lot of money. You need a reason why you participate and share that with others. With the drive and the courage to ask for donations, little by little, a little becomes a lot.” 

As a cancer survivor, Morales encourages others to join in the mission.

“Being involved in a cause that has personally affected me has shown me what my purpose is in life,” Morales explained. “I feel like I owe my life to this cause because it has given me a second chance. I don’t want to lose my survivor sisters and brothers to this disease. I don’t want them, their families or caregivers to have to go through pain, suffering or hopelessness because of cancer. I encourage all survivors to jump on board with me. Join a Miles for Moffitt team, put on your shoes, tie up your laces and move for what matters.”