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Marquette Wire

President Lovell Hosts Kickoff Walk for Cancer Prevention

Lovell, who has been battling sarcoma since 2021, encouraged the Marquette community to get involved in the Fit2Be Cancer Free Challenge to raise funding for cancer research while improving personal health.
CEO’s from around Milwaukee attended the kickoff event on Marquette’s campus. Photo courtesy of Marquette Today.

Rain was not going to stop Marquette President Michael Lovell, a group of Marquette employees and local CEOs from walking to promote cancer prevention last Thursday morning.

While the weather did force the event inside to the Al McGuire gym concourse, Lovell and the Marquette community were still able to get their steps in at the Fit2Be Cancer Free Challenge kickoff walk.  

The Fit2Be Cancer Free Challenge is a virtual competition that sheds light on cancer prevention, promotes healthy workplace activity, and raises funds for the American Cancer Society. It is hosted each April by the Wisconsin chapter of CEOs Against Cancer, which Lovell is a member of. 

Lovell said the money raised from the walk goes to the American Cancer Society and is then split into two parts by the Wisconsin CEOs Against Cancer chapter, one to support services for individuals battling cancer who need help with everyday tasks and the other half to sarcoma research.

Sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that can affect either bones or soft tissue, and it is typically treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or surgery. Lovell has been battling sarcoma since his cancer diagnosis in 2021.

“They’ve very graciously put [money] toward something that’s near and dear to my heart,” Lovell said.

Lovell’s walk at Marquette served to kick off the Fit2Be Cancer Free Challenge by providing an opportunity for various CEOs, including himself, to compete for most steps within the first 24 hours of the competition. 

“Last year, I wasn’t in treatment, and I didn’t have a really busy day, so I was able to cover about 50 miles,” Lovell said. “Today, we have a little more going on … Plus, I’m in treatment so I probably shouldn’t push myself that hard, but if I got 25 or 30 miles in today, I’d be pretty happy.” 

Lovell finished 18th in the CEO competition across all companies, taking a total of 66,756 steps and walking 32.36 miles on Thursday.

While the opening day competition is specifically for CEOs across Wisconsin, the challenge lasts until May 9 and allows all members of a participating organization to get involved and track their movement within those three weeks. 

“The idea is that Marquette University will be competing against some of the other institutions within the state to see who gets the most steps in, so we always try to invite members of our community to be part of our team so that Marquette can win.” Lovell said. 

This is Lovell’s third year hosting the kickoff walk for the Marquette community, but he said this is the first year it took place directly on campus instead of at Fiserv Forum. 

“We’re really happy this year to host it at Marquette. It’s a great way to showcase our university, but it’s also a way to say we care about standing and fighting against cancer,” Lovell said. “We want people to be healthy on our campus and have a community to embrace this challenge.” 

Lovell said that he encourages all members of the Marquette community to get involved in the Fit2Be Cancer Free Challenge while it is going on.

“We all stand up for something that we all believe in, and think is important. We’d love to ultimately find a cure for cancer someday so that no one has to battle this disease and be impacted,” Lovell said. “So today is hopefully one step in a longer journey for us to find a cure for cancer.” 

This story was written by Mia Thurow. She can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Mia Thurow
Mia Thurow is a first-year student from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin double-majoring in Journalism and Spanish with a minor in Digital Media. She is a Marquette Wire News Reporter for the 2023-2024 school year. In her free time, Mia enjoys cheering on all her favorite sports teams, exploring downtown Milwaukee with friends, and spending time hiking in nature. Mia is excited to meet new people during her time at the Wire and raise awareness of important news stories in the local community.

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