Registration underway for 2021 UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge

Participants will join forces virtually to impact the future of cancer treatment

April 06, 2021
UCI Health neurosurgeon Dr. Frank Hsu participates in the UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge, an annual fundraiser for cancer research sponsored by the UCI Health Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

UCI Health neurosurgeon Dr. Frank Hsu is among the many participants who walk, ride or run in the annual UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge to raise funds for research at the UCI Health Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Registration is open for the fifth annual UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge — a virtual ride, run, walk event to raise awareness and funds for promising cancer research at the UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only comprehensive cancer center based in Orange County that is designated by the National Cancer Institute.

Individuals and teams are signing up now to get an early start on training for Challenge Day on Aug. 14, and to set new fundraising records. Their goal is to enable progress on cancer studies that improve the prevention, diagnosis and management of all forms of the disease. 

“Every dollar raised by participants goes to cancer-related pilot studies and early-phase clinical trials," said Dr. Richard Van Etten, director of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and founder of the Anti-Cancer Challenge.

"These Anti-Cancer Challenge grants are vital to research progress, giving our trailblazing investigators the means to demonstrate a concept’s validity and attract the large extramural awards that make progress possible. Without the money raised by Anti-Cancer Challenge participants, many of our most promising studies might never move forward.”

Virtual activities start June 19

This year’s virtual Anti-Challenge program begins on June 19, with eight weeks of activities including health lectures from renowned UCI faculty, fitness challenges, online training events, and wellness offerings leading up to Challenge Day, Saturday, Aug. 14.

On that day, participants will connect virtually through rides, runs and walks locally and across the nation to promote the importance of funding research to defeat cancer.

“Last year, the pandemic inspired us to transform the annual Challenge Day event into a virtual program. The Orange County community embraced the concept, engaging friends and family members across the nation in activities to raise awareness and funds for promising cancer research,” said Jennifer Sarrail, executive director of the Anti-Cancer Challenge.

“It was our most successful year ever, with participants contributing $735,000 to cancer center research," she said. "We anticipate community enthusiasm for the cause pushing proceeds over $1 million this year, making more breakthrough research possible at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.”

Register now

To register, visit or download the app for iPhone or Android devices. For information on event sponsorship opportunities, contact Jennifer Sarrail at or call 714-456-7171.

The UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center is at the forefront of discovering new ways to fight cancer. As one of only 51 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, the center combines leading-edge research, clinical trials and world-class care for patients. In 2019 alone, more than 6,300 new patients benefited from the advanced treatment provided by the center.

The Anti-Cancer Challenge is a community movement and annual ride, run and walk event to raise awareness and funds for innovative cancer research at the UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. In the event’s short history, its participants have raised funds to enable the pursuit of 43 original research grants aimed to prevent, manage or cure cancer. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

UCI Health is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, California. The 418-bed acute care hospital provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, as well as behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.