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  • Posted Friday October 8, 2021

Teams are forming for TGen’s Step-N-Out 5K for pancreatic cancer research

Participation options enable teams to be virtual, in-person or both for Nov. 7 ‘FUNdraiser’

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Oct. 8, 2021 — Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult of all malignancies to defeat, and so it takes a team effort to fight this relentless disease, both in the clinic and in the race to raise critical funding for pancreatic cancer research.

This year, the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope, is providing two different ways — virtual or in-person — to help raise pancreatic cancer research funds through the 16th annual Step-N-Out 5K run, walk, dash set for 7:30 a.m. Nov. 7 at the Scottsdale Sports Complex.

Whether you build a team, or go solo, participants of all ages and abilities can choose from a variety of categories by registering at Discounts and t-shirts, guaranteed to be in your size, are available for those who sign up on or before Oct. 12. Registration will continue until the event.

In addition to teams, business sponsors PhoenixNAP, The Ann Yturri Memorial, and the law firm of Papetti, Samuels, Weiss are contributing to Step-N-Out, which will apply 100% of the funds raised to TGen’s groundbreaking pancreatic cancer research. To learn how to become a business sponsor, go to, or contact event manager Amiee Lay at [email protected] or 602-343-8502.

Because of the COVID pandemic, last year’s event was virtual only. This year, participants are forming teams: some virtual, others in-person, and at least one that will be both virtual and in-person:

Team Lee — This is the ninth year for the team put together by Nancy Hanley Eriksson in memory of her late husband Lee Hanley, the founder, chairman and CEO of Vestar and Board Member of the TGen Foundation, who passed away in 2012 from pancreatic cancer. Last year, when Step-N-Out was virtual only, Nancy’s team of nearly 60 participants raised more than $59,000, and she hopes the team does as well this year.

“I was amazed at the response, and how supportive they were,” she said of her team’s donations last year, adding that Team Lee again will participate virtually this year.

“Forming Team Lee and raising funds to help others with pancreatic cancer has been a healing experience for me and my family,” said Nancy, who hopes to have her team participate both in-person and virtually next year to encourage more research and clinical trials in pursuit of giving patients a cure and longevity.

Team Donner Party — It’s an admittedly provocative name, but Paul and Jen Marshall, along with their children — Hannah, Megan and Shane — last year raised nearly $8,000 through Step-N-Out in support of their dear friend, Michael Donner, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in December. Paul and Michael came from large families, attended the same high school in the Los Angeles area, worked for the same company, moved their families to Scottsdale, named each other godfathers to each other’s children, and Michael married Claudine, one of Paul’s best and closest friends from childhood.

“It was just such a special bond. He was a friend, and close enough for me to consider him my brother,” said Paul, who joined Step-N-Out last year after hearing a TGen ad on KJZZ radio. Jen added: “We wanted to find a way to continue honoring Michael and his spirit of generosity, joy and adventure.”

Team Helios Scholars — Arianna Williams, a graduate student studying molecular and cellular biology at the University of Arizona, was a member of Helios Scholars at TGen, the institute’s premier eight-week summer internship program, in 2020 and 2021. This past summer, she worked in TGen’s pancreatic cancer research lab and thought it would be great to invite her fellow Scholars to form a team. With hundreds of Scholars scattered throughout Arizona and across the nation, Arianna is taking advantage of both options, having some of her team run in-person, and others to participate virtually.

“When I saw that TGen was doing a fundraiser for pancreatic cancer research, I was excited to take part, having seen first-hand what that research money would go toward, and having seen up close the tremendous strides and impact TGen’s pancreatic cancer lab is having on the lives of patients,” Arianna said. “I will be there, and so will my family.”


Various registration levels are available, including a “Sleep in for Research” option for those who don’t want to attend but still want to save lives and help wipe out pancreatic cancer.

Cancer Survivor: $20
Adult in-person 5K walk/run: $35 (timed) $30 (not timed)
Virtual walk/run: $35
Child (aged 6 to 12) 5K walk/run: $15
Adult 1.5-mile run/walk: $25
Kid’s Dash: Free to children aged 5 and under
Sleep in for Research: $20 

“Technology enables our 16th annual Step-N-Out 5K, hybrid event, to engage more people from throughout the Phoenix metro area, around all parts of Arizona, and across the nation,” said Erin Massey, Chief Development Officer of the TGen Foundation. “COVID-19 has actually given us a greater opportunity to connect with people who want to eliminate pancreatic cancer, and we are so very thankful for their support.” 


If you go to Step-N-Out:
What: TGen's 16th annual Step-N-Out 5K FUNdraiser for pancreatic cancer research.
Where: Scottsdale Sports Complex, 8081 E. Princess Drive, northeast of Hayden and Bell roads, between Loop 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard. 
When: 7:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 7.  Registration starts at 7:30 a.m.; a competitive 5K run begins at 9 a.m.; a fun 1-mile run/walk starts at 9:15 a.m.; a free 50-yard kids' dash is planned for 10:30 a.m.
Parking: Free.
More information: Contact Amiee Lay at [email protected] or (602) 343-8502.

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About TGen, an affiliate of City of Hope
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based nonprofit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life-changing results. TGen is affiliated with City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases:  This precision medicine affiliation enables both institutes to complement each other in research and patient care, with City of Hope providing a significant clinical setting to advance scientific discoveries made by TGen. TGen is focused on helping patients with neurological disorders, cancer, diabetes and infectious diseases through cutting-edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research toward patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and complex rare diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit: Follow TGen on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter @TGen.

Media Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
[email protected]

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