12:45 PM

The 30th Annual Cancer Survivors’ Celebration Walk & 5K Returns to Grant Park on June 4


Lurie Cancer Center held the first celebration in 1993


CHICAGO -  For 30 years, the Cancer Survivors’ Celebration Walk & 5K, organized by Northwestern Medicine and Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, has served as a source of hope and inspiration for those who have faced or are facing cancer.

Taking place on June 4, National Cancer Survivors Day, this community event is a unique opportunity for cancer survivors, supporters, scientists and health professionals to connect, celebrate milestones and make an impact on the future of cancer care.

“At Lurie Cancer Center, we strive to bring personalized cancer care and state-of-the-art treatments to patients with the goal of celebrating more cancer survivors every year,” says Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, director of Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Medicine. “This community event is a meaningful opportunity to renew our commitment to defeating this terrible disease and improving quality of life for patients and their families. This year, we are particularly excited to commemorate three decades of progress.”

The celebration is open to all cancer survivors, regardless of where they were treated. Participants can sign up for a non-competitive walk or chip-timed 5K race along the lakefront. The event will feature several highlights including special 30th-anniversary T-shirts designed by Faces of Cancer honoree Valerie Jonkoff, music and entertainment, inspiring speakers, refreshments and an opportunity to share a message on the Dedication Wall.

New this year, participants have the option to purchase and personalize a star with the name of a loved one. These stars will be displayed together in a ‘star field,’ symbolizing everyone impacted by cancer and providing hope to those currently undergoing treatment.

Advanced registration is available online and highly encouraged. Runners can pick up their racing bib with timing chip in Grant Park on the day of the event, starting at 8 a.m. The 5K run will commence at 9:15 a.m., followed by the walk at 10 a.m., rain or shine.

All funds raised will directly support Lurie Cancer Center’s innovative research and survivorship programs. Fundraising is optional, and there is no minimum donation required. For more information on event activities, fundraising and registration, visit

WHAT: 30th Annual Cancer Survivors’ Celebration Walk & 5K 

WHEN: Sunday, June 4 (National Cancer Survivors Day)

  • 8 a.m. -Event-day registration and t-shirt pick-up opens
  • 8:30 a.m. -Welcome, warm-up and celebration begins
  • 9:15 a.m. -5K run starts
  • 10 a.m. -Walk starts

WHERE: Grant Park’s Arvey Field, Chicago 

WHO:  Cancer survivorship experts and oncologists from Lurie Cancer Center are available for interviews, as well as the following 2023 Faces of Cancer honorees:

  • Valerie Jonkoff, a 34-year-old rectal cancer survivor who can speak to the unique challenges of adolescent-young adult (AYA) cancer care. Jonkoff has also designed the t-shirts for this year’s celebration.
  • Candace Henley is a colorectal cancer survivor who founded The Blue Hat Foundation for Colorectal Cancer Awareness, an organization committed to supporting underserved community members without access to cancer prevention resources.
  • Laura Hendricks, an acute myeloid leukemia survivor, was diagnosed five years ago at age 40 while raising three young children. After completing treatment, Hendricks founded Luminaries, an organization that delivers step-by-step toolkits to help cancer survivors respond to challenges and thrive.