Cancer walks, as they are often called, have increased in number over the years and have remained popular with the donating public and with philanthropic organizations alike.
We have put together a list of some of the larger organized walks coming up this spring—but there are many other smaller and local events happening around the country also, so get in touch with local organizations if you don’t see anything planned in your area. Every walk has different rules and requirements—be sure to become familiar with them ahead of time if you have signed up for an event. This list is organized by cancer type; if what you are looking for isn’t here, try searching for a national organization or contact the American Cancer Society. Many of the organizations here sponsor walks in the late summer and early fall; check their websites for more information about walks later in the year.
Benefits: All Cancer Types
American Cancer SocietyRelay For Life
Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s largest event, raising more than $400 million in 2018 alone. For more than 3 decades, this event has been drawing thousands of people each year to walk a circular track that represents the ongoing fight against cancer. On walk day, participants, volunteers, and spectators enjoy games and activities, and food is available for purchase. It all ends with a display of lighted luminaria to honor survivors and lost loved ones. Find an event in your community!Bark For Life
Bring your best friend! Bark For Life is a fundraising event for “canine caregivers” and their people. This just-for-fun event especially for our furry friends recognizes the unconditional love, comfort, and support they provide. Festivities can include dress-up contests; therapy-, rescue-, and police-dog demonstrations; pet games; and more. Visit their website, follow them on Facebook or call 800-227-2345 to find an event!
Bladder Cancer Advocacy NetworkWalk to End Bladder Cancer
More than 25 event locations around the country each year recognize this cancer type, the sixth most diagnosed in the United States. The Walk to End Bladder Cancer helps bring awareness and research money, and shows support for the patients, survivors, caregivers, friends, family, and those who have lost a loved one to bladder cancer. May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s fitting that many of the walks are scheduled to take place that month. Visit this page to view the list of walk cities.
National Brain Tumor SocietyBrain Tumor Walks
Nearly 700,000 men, women, and children are living with brain tumors in the United States, and brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in children and adolescents. Yet, brain cancer research remains an underfunded area. Brain Tumor Walks are among the outdoor events the National Brain Tumor Society sponsors each spring, and funds raised through the walks are used to advance research and public policy to help people with brain cancer now and in the future. Visit their website to find an event.
- May 5, Northwest – Portland, OR
- May 11, San Diego, CA
- May 11, Central New Jersey – Asbury Park, NJ
- June 1, Denver, CO
- June 9, New York City – Randall's Island, NYC, NY
- June 23, San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Susan G. KomenMore Than Pink Walk (formerly Race for the Cure)
After many years of sponsoring a combination run/walk, this well-known breast cancer organization has decided now to make one of their signature outdoor fundraising events solely a walk without a running-race component. They feel that it will create a greater sense of community as it better reflects the needs of its participants. Without the expense and logistics required of a timed race, the funds can be put to better use. Look for these walking events this spring:
Colorectal Cancer AllianceThe Undy Run/Walk
The walk offers participants something a little different—a chance to run in their boxers or briefs. Whether you do so for the Undy Run/Walk is entirely up to you. The emphasis here is on the race—a timed 3.1 miles―but there is also a 1-mile untimed walk for anyone who wants to enter. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance, the largest colorectal cancer association in the United States, raises money for research and advocacy for cancers of the colon and rectum. Find a run/walk here.
- June 1, Chicago, IL
- June 15, Portland, OR
- June 22, Denver, CO
American Lung AssociationLUNG FORCE Walks
LUNG FORCE is a national women’s movement united against the #1 cancer killer of men and women in the United States—lung cancer. LUNG FORCE Walks are a signature fundraising event sponsored by the American Lung Association. The run/walks consist of a choice of a 5K run or a 1-mile walk. And everyone is encouraged to wear the color turquoise—the color of lung cancer awareness. Visit the LUNG FORCE website to find a run/walk!
Breathe Deep Walks
Breathe Deep Walks are sponsored by LUNGevity, the largest network of local events for lung cancer fundraising and awareness nationally. The walks are grassroots events held in honor of a person with cancer or a survivor or in tribute to someone who died from their disease. Most of the walks are held on courses where wheelchairs, strollers, and sometimes bicycles are welcome, and they are dog and family friendly, too. Visit the LUNGevity website to join a Breathe Deep Walk in your area.
- May 4, Atlanta, GA
- May 4, Columbia, MD
- May 5, Deerfield, IL
- May 18, South Lyon, MI
- June 1, Birmingham, MI
- June 9, Toledo, OH
- June 22, Kankakee, IL
- June 23, Kingston, PA
Melanoma Research FoundationMiles for Melanoma
Melanoma can strike anyone—and it is the fastest growing cancer in the world today, especially in people under age 35. In women between the ages of 25 and 30, it is the leading cause of cancer death. Melanoma does not discriminate by age, gender, or race. Everyone is at risk of developing this deadly form of cancer—not just on the skin. It can develop anywhere on the body. Miles for Melanoma events are 5K runs/walks that allow participants to support and raise funds for the Melanoma Research Foundation in more than 15 cities throughout the United States. Join a run/walk here.
- May 4, Washington, DC
- May 18, Boston, MA
- June 22, Chicago, IL
- June 22, Columbus, OH
National Ovarian Cancer CoalitionTogether in Teal Walks
Come dressed in a lovely shade of teal to walk and raise money for research for ovarian cancer. Together in Teal Walks educate and raise awareness about this disease that has no test for early detection and few early symptoms. Most of these scheduled events sponsor fun events and activity tents for kids and partners, too. Get involved and find a walk!
- May 4, Austin, TX
- May 11, Fairfax, VA
- May 18, Chicago, IL
- June 8, West Des Moines, IA
- June 15, Frederick, MD
Pancreatic Cancer Action NetworkPurple Stride Walks
Since 1999, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has been fighting what they call the world’s toughest cancer—and over the last decade that battle has been waged in part by the money and awareness raised by the Purple Stride Walks. Each year, more than 50 events take place across the country helping to continue the fight against this deadly disease. Purple Stride Walks raise hope and spirits, too. Join a walk or a team near you!
Zero Cancer OrganizationZero’s Heroes Walk/Run and Kids’ Superhero Dash
This organization hopes to prevent future generations from developing prostate cancer. Their walk/runs held around the country raise money and awareness to continue their commitment to create the first generation of men free from prostate cancer. Participants can choose from a 5K walk/run or a 1-mile walk in most cases. Certainly, the highlight of the day is the Kids’ Superhero Dash, where children under 9 years of age are invited to dress as their favorite superhero and participate in a short race in honor of their real-life superheroes. Visit the Zero Cancer Organization to find an event near you!
- May 18, Omaha, NE
- June 1, Chicago, IL
- June 9, Portland, OR
- June 15, Capitol Area, DC
- June 15, Salt Lake City, UT
- June 22, Greater Los Angeles Area, CA
- June 30, Hartford, CT