The Journey Begins
Each year we have been blessed with organizational growth. Many things have changed since our inaugural year in 2014. In that first event we had a tremendous turn out in Saratoga and we raised over $12,000 for the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative. After meeting, Bruce and Beverly Shriver at our July 2014 5k event we soon realized we would need to find another organization to collaborate with since they were dissolving their organization in memory of their daughter Liddy who lost her battle with Ewing’s sarcoma.
Partnered with MSTS
UAlbany Here We Come!
In 2016, we moved to the University at Albany campus as we had outgrowth the State Park in Saratoga. We saw continued growth in event numbers and funds raised.
New Name, Same Mission
In 2017, we rebranded as Sarcoma Strong from Team Sarcoma and funded our 1st MSTS/Sarcoma Strong research grant for $100,000.
In 2018, we started to build momentum through inspiring other institutions to host their own events and support our research grant funding. We were able to raise over $90,000 to continue to support sarcoma research. 2018 also brought a restructuring of the research mission of the MSTS and we became the sole funding source for sarcoma research. The executive committee of the MSTS recognized the importance of mentorship in inspiring and leading our younger, energetic clinician scientists. New Sarcoma Mentorship Grants for $25,000 were established to support this mission. Sarcoma Strong wanted to continue to fund more experienced researchers with a recurring $50,000 grant as funds would support.
In 2019, with the help of 5 other centers and over 600 participants in Albany we were able to surpass our goal of $100,000 raised for the year. Our total raised from 2015-2019 is ~$352,000. By the end of 2020 we will have funded $300,000 in Sarcoma research grants in collaboration with MSTS.
Global Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
In 2020, during a Global Pandemic we shifted our focus to engage a worldwide audience. We saw our greatest participation numbers to date at 1075. We welcomed participants from 14 countries and 38 States across the US. Despite economic uncertainty for many we were able to raise over $88,000 to fund sarcoma research. Our total funds raised now exceeds $440,000.
Collaboration and Proof of Concept
In 2021, we experienced continue growth and many accomplishments to highlight. We raised over $138,000 in 2021, surpassing our previous highest fundraising year in 2019. Overall participation for our global event exceeded 1600 donors and participants. We had 18 institutions in the US organize their own event or collaborate with our main weekend. Six international sites spread our message worldwide. Our social media presence continues to grow, reaching more sarcoma warriors along their journey. At Albany Medical College, we have increased our SarcomaStrong service learning program to ten medical students increasing the education of future doctors and helping increase sarcoma awareness and support for our local sarcoma community. Our proof of concept in supporting SarcomaStrong research funding occurred this summer when Dr. Bang Hoang, our 1st grant recipient in 2017, received a $1.6 million NIH research grant to continue his Osteosarcoma research. Onwards and upwards to 2022
rebranding, establishing a board, and globalization
We welcomed 2022 with a fresh look for Sarcoma Strong. A new logo, a new image, and a merchandise shop. The mission remains the same. Our essential intent is to lead efforts of continuous knowledge improvement of this rare disease and lessen the human suffering from sarcoma. We raised close to $150,000 in 2022, with 29 institutions participating worldwide, over 2000 donors and participants, from 14 countries, and 35 states in the US. Our service learning program with medical students at Albany Medical College continues to grow with 13 members driving continuous improvement. Our organizational structure was greatly enhanced by the official establishment of our Sarcoma Strong Board of Directors midway through 2022. Under the collective guidance of this passionate group, and with a big push from our student leaders we are organizing our 1st Sarcoma Strong Dinner Gala set for February 25, 2023. Our collaboration with MSTS is strong and there is a commitment to fund even more research in 2023. The MSTS Annual meeting in Clearwater, Florida, towards the end of the year, helped inspire colleagues from around the world with a call to action and we anticipate increased sites of collaboration in 2023 providing continued growth of our signature run event.