On the historic course of the Boston Marathon®, an energized crowd of participants will mark a poignant stride against cancer on October 6, 2024, as the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk updates its course, concluding at a new and symbolic location — the Boston Common. This notable change comes as a response to the ongoing construction in Copley Square, steering the final steps of the walk to America’s oldest public park.

The Jimmy Fund Walk, persistently supported by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, embodies a beacon of hope and solidarity in the fight against cancer, raising critical funds for both adult and pediatric patient care alongside groundbreaking cancer research. This event not only highlights communal effort but also underlines the significance of continuous advances in medical research and patient support provided by Dana-Farber, one of the nation’s leading cancer research and treatment centers.

For the walkers, the change of scenery to Boston Common offers a fresh burst of inspiration. As described by Suzanne Fountain, vice president of the Jimmy Fund, the relocation to the “People’s Park” is emblematic of the collective journey towards a world without cancer, aligning with Boston’s foundational ethos as a city united by common purposes and pursuits. The Common, a central, historically-loaded public space, offers a fitting backdrop for the communal celebration of life, resilience, and communal support in the face of cancer.

Participants of the event can choose from four walking distances — a 5K from Dana-Farber’s Longwood Medical Campus, a 10K from Newton, a half marathon from Wellesley, and a full marathon start from Hopkinton — each designed to accommodate varying levels of ability and commitment. This inclusivity ensures that everyone, regardless of their fitness level, can contribute to the cause in a manner that best suits them. For those unable to attend in person, a virtual participation option underscores the inclusive spirit of the event.

Beyond physical exercise, the walk evokes a palpable sense of community. The paths will be dotted with photographs of patients, the “Jimmy Fund Walk Heroes,” who exemplify the very lives participants are stepping out to support. These powerful stories and faces add a deeply personal touch to every mile conquered on the route, reminding walkers of the tangible impact of their fundraising efforts.

Since its inception, the Jimmy Fund Walk has successfully mobilized communities to raise over $176 million for Dana-Farber, with a record-breaking $9.4 million raised just last year. This significant fundraising milestone underscores the vital role community involvement plays in fueling crucial cancer research and patient support services. The event continues to enjoy robust support from the Boston Athletic Association since 1989 and has benefited from Hyundai’s role as presenting sponsor for more than two decades.

The event is more than just a fundraising walk; it is a spirited gathering enhanced by the backdrop of live entertainment and nourishing refreshments, awaiting participants at the Jimmy Fund Walk Finish Line Powered by Schneider Electric in Boston Common.

Registration for the walk is now open, with incentives such as reduced registration fees available, encouraging wide participation under the rallying cry of defying cancer — a testament to the power of collective action in making strides towards eradicating cancer.

The renewal of this storied event, at a new rallying point in Boston Common, continues to weave the narrative of hope, endurance, and united action in the heart of Boston, propelling forward the life-saving mission that has defined the Jimmy Fund Walk since 1948.