Top moments of 2021 at Dana-Farber & The Jimmy Fund

While 2021 remained a challenging year for all of us, it was not without its bright moments—stories of courage and dedication that inspired us, and advances that gave us hope. As we move into 2022, let’s reflect on some of the most memorable Institute and supporter moments of the past year at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, which would not be possible without you, our community of generous supporters. Together, we’re all Jimmy, and we can defy cancer.

Chestnut Hill location opens to patients

2021 kicked off in January with Dana-Farber’s new Chestnut Hill facility opening in Newton, to provide multidisciplinary care to more patients, closer to home. Modeled after the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care in the Longwood Medical Area, patient and caregivers’ perspectives and feedback were vital in determining details—large and small—about the facility.

Transformative gift powers pancreatic cancer research

Pancreatic cancer is one of the hardest cancers to identify and treat. Now, with a new commitment from Trustee Judith B. Hale, her son, Robert T. Hale Jr., and his wife, Karen Hale, all long-time Dana-Farber supporters, the Institute is building on past progress to work toward defying this disease. The Hale Family pledged $50 million in spring 2021 in support of research to aid early pancreatic cancer detection, prevention, precision medicine, and biology at the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, which the family founded in 2016.

The Dana-Farber Campaign announced

In May 2021, the Institute announced The Dana-Farber Campaign, an ambitious, multi-year effort to raise $2 billion to prevent, treat, and defy cancer. Money raised through the Campaign will accelerate success through revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise. Additionally, the Campaign will raise vital flexible funds for essential opportunities that are critical in advancing our position as a pioneer in this rapidly changing era of cancer medicine. With the help of the entire Dana-Farber and Jimmy Fund community, through each step, scoop, swing, and donation, we have the power to create a more hopeful, cancer-free future—in Boston and around the world. 

Record-breaking ride

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund’s largest single contributor, the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), continued its spree of record-breaking rides, raising an outstanding $64 million in 2021 to support cancer care and research. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the PMC has raised more than $114 million for Dana-Farber. The PMC donates 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to support lifesaving cancer research, treatment, and care at Dana-Farber. The 2021 gift brings the PMC’s total contributions since 1980 to an incredible $831 million.

The Red Sox hit a home run for the Jimmy Fund

After a year away, the Jimmy Fund made its return to Fenway Park in 2021! Joined by our friends at the Red Sox, the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber patients took over the airwaves from Fenway on August 24-25 during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon presented by Arbella Insurance. Thanks to our generous donors, who stood together to say, “We’re all Jimmy,” the event raised $3.8 million to strike out cancer for patients at Dana-Farber.

Community-focused patient navigator program launches

For years, patient navigators have been available at Dana-Farber for patients coming to the Institute from medically underserved communities, to help them successfully manage a challenging time. Now, some patients are being connected with a “community-facing” navigator right in their community, prior to their first appointment, to overcome some of the barriers to accessing care, such as transportation, language, food insecurity, insurance status, and more. Patients in Dana-Farber’s Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment Center, who live in the Dorchester, Roxbury, or Mattapan neighborhoods of Boston, currently have access to this pilot program, which will be rolled out to at least six additional treatment centers in 2022, thanks in large part to generous gifts made through The Dana-Farber Campaign.

Walkers take steps around the world

For the second Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk Your Way presented by Hyundai, more than 6,100 participants joined in virtually from across the country and even around the world (like this team, in Madrid!), lacing up from nine different countries in support of Dana-Farber’s mission. Despite not being together, the Jimmy Fund Walk community truly showed that we’re all Jimmy—no matter where we may be.

Dana-Farber runners hit the pavement again

More than 300 Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge runners took to the streets once more as the Boston Marathon® returned to its historic route on October 11, 2021. After a 2020 filled with postponements and a virtual race, we are grateful to our runners for their perseverance and determination in taking on 26.2 miles for Dana-Farber. Funds raised by runners supports the basic, discovery science at the Institute that can lead to major breakthroughs in treatments for patients.

Without your support, these moments would have never been possible. Thanks to you, each day we get closer to defying cancer for Dana-Farber patients, and cancer patients of all ages around the world. THANK YOU for your support—we look forward to an exciting 2022 ahead!