Why we walk on colorful background

Why we walk: Michael Mraz

Walk for Hope is City of Hope’s largest annual fundraiser to benefit cancer research — and this year it’s going national! Walks will be hosted in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Atlanta, Chicago and Orange County, California or (virtually) in your own community. There are so many reasons to walk — every participant has their own incredibly personal and moving tribute to hope. But the commitment we all share is to one day end cancer for all. Here, our volunteers share their stories about why we walk.

City of Hope employee, Michael Mraz
City of Hope employee and Walk for Hope participant, Michael Mraz

How many walks have you attended?  

Four.

Why do you walk? 

Because so many people in my family have been touched by cancer: my father-in-law, my cousin, my good friend's wife, my mother's best friend, my sister-in-law and her mother. The unfortunate list goes on. I've helped two of them connect with our clinicians here; it's one of the best things about working here. I'm lucky to be a part of this organization that can give them hope. I walk to do my part to help us continue that mission.

What’s your connection to City of Hope®?

I work in our City of Hope IT department. I have been here for seven years and watched us grow from a hospital with 13 clinics to a national health system.. 

Who will you be walking with this year?  

My wife, Kate, and my little girl, Ava. She attended her first walk when she was 1 year old.

Where will you be walking?  

Los Angeles.  

What advice do you have for a first-time participant to make the most of their Walk experience?  

Take in your surroundings and the scale of all of the people walking around you — and remember we're doing the same all across the United States. Those people share your passion; they're your community. Also, don't be afraid to ask people to give — people want to — they just need a good reason; something they can believe in. What better than to cure cancer? 

What part of City of Hope’s mission speaks to you directly and why?

Well, our updated mission is to make hope a reality for *all* touched by cancer and diabetes. I think it's the most exciting piece of City of Hope's growth since I started here. Whether visiting our campuses in Phoenix, Atlanta or Chicago to help bring our ConnectHope (Epic) medical record live, or watching the City of Hope signs go up on the buildings, or our new Compass Mobile Screening  initiative, I’m excited for us to be able to reach more of the country directly with our research. I have friends and family in every one of those areas, and I now have more hope if the worst happens to them.

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