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 History of Making Strides

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Where the Dollars Go

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 cancer survivors and other volunteers, she created a "move-along-a-thon" called Making Strides Against Cancer to bring people of all abilities together in an event to move the fight against cancer forward. The first event, held in Boston, drew 200 participants and became a yearly event in the city.

History of Making Strides

In September 1993, the event officially became known as the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, attracting 4,000 walkers at events in Boston and Manchester, New Hampshire. Since then, Margie’s vision has inspired nearly 6 million walkers to participate in Making Strides events in more than 145 communities across the country, raising more than $400 million to fight breast cancer. Margie remained a dedicated volunteer for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program until she ultimately lost her battle with cancer in 2001.

Margie's legacy lives on, reminding us each and every year that we can all do our part to save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays!