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Learn About Making Strides > History of Making Strides

Cancer survivor Margery Gould Rath

History of the Making Strides Walk.

In 1984, Massachusetts cancer survivor Margery “Margie” Gould Rath wanted to find a way to celebrate fellow cancer survivors by raising funds for the American Cancer Society. Working with a committee of fellow survivors and other volunteers, Margie created a "move-along-a-thon" called Making Strides Against Cancer to bring people together in an event to move the fight against cancer forward. The first event, held in Boston, drew 200 participants and instantly became an annual city tradition.

In 1993, the event officially became known as the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, attracting 5,000 walkers at events in Boston and several New Hampshire Communities. Since then, Margie's vision has inspired more than 11 million walkers to participate in Making Strides events in nearly 300 communities across the country, raising more than $685 million to fight breast cancer. Margie remained a dedicated Making Strides volunteer until she died from cancer in 2001.

The progress we're making because of Making Strides supporters like Margie is nothing short of remarkable. But it’s no time to rest. That's why we need your help. More walkers mean the next big breast cancer research breakthrough. More walkers mean free lodging and rides to treatment for breast cancer patients who need it. More walkers fundraising mean more survivors who will celebrate more birthdays.


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