In celebration of its most successful fundraising effort yet, the Dolphins Challenge Cancer (DCC) formally presented an $8.4 million check for innovative cancer research to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, a part of UHealth – University of Miami Health System. The announcement was made during the Dolphins’ Crucial Catch game, an NFL initiative to raise awareness about cancer.

The celebratory check was presented to Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., during halftime of the Miami Dolphins vs. Minnesota Vikings game on Sunday, October 16. Dr. Nimer was joined on the field by Sylvester physicians and DCC board members, along with 50 cancer survivors who were helped by groundbreaking research funded by the annual DCC events.

DCC XII, which took place in February, was the largest Dolphins Challenge Cancer event yet in terms of donations and participation; 4,484 participants helped raise a record-breaking $8.4 million. This brings DCC’s 12-year total contribution to $53.9 million. It is the largest fundraising event in the National Football League.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this record-breaking moment in front of fans, our community, and the Sylvester team as we make our biggest contribution to the fight against cancer,” Dolphins Challenge Cancer Executive Director Javier Sanchez said. “Sylvester is more than just a beneficiary; they are an innovative partner in our shared mission to challenge the status quo in creating more positive outcomes for the threat of cancer in South Florida for years to come.”

“We could not ask for a better teammate than the Miami Dolphins. Their dedication to supporting cancer research at Sylvester is unparalleled,” said Dr. Nimer, the Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and executive dean of research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “Funds raised through DCC events are powering impactful cancer research leading to innovative discoveries and life-saving treatments, bringing us one step closer to a world without cancer.”

DCC funds are used to support Sylvester’s innovative research, recruit and retain some of the world’s best minds in cancer research and care, and invest in cutting-edge technologies to bring the latest discoveries for detection, diagnosis, and treatment to cancer patients. Over the past 12 years, almost $54 million has gone to support Sylvester’s life-saving cancer research in areas such as:

  • Precision medicine – discovering, developing, and delivering the next generation of precision cancer medicine.
  • Immunotherapies – investing in the fast-growing field of cancer immunotherapies that boost the patient’s immune system to attack and eradicate cancer cells.
  • Clinical trials – offering the latest clinical cancer trials to patients, allowing them to receive some of the most promising new therapies targeting the drivers of their particular cancers.
  • Radiation oncology research – developing new ways to deliver radiation therapy in various cancers more precisely, concentrating the dosage on cancer cells and leaving healthy tissue unaffected.
  • Cancer diagnostics – investing in the newest technologies and best talent to better understand each individual’s cancer and its genetic drivers.

Dolphins Challenge Cancer was founded in 2010 with 100% of participant-raised funds going directly to Sylvester to support cancer research. Ranked among the top 50 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals in 2022 list, Sylvester is South Florida’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.

In addition to the check presentation ceremony, the game included a game ball presentation to Dr. Nimer and people riding stationary bicycles throughout the game to promote DCC XIII.

DCC XIII will take place on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at Hard Rock Stadium. Registration is now open. For more information, visit