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Meet the DCC MVP

A University of Miami alumnus spearheads the NFL’s largest philanthropic fundraiser

Javier Sanchez


n February 24, more than 6,700 participants took part in Dolphins Challenge Cancer XIV, the Miami Dolphins organization’s signature fundraising event, which has raised more than $75 million since its inception. This year’s walk, run and bicycle rides raised a record-setting $12 million to support innovative cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Orchestrating the massive event is University of Miami alumnus Javier Sanchez. The DCC executive director is a double ’Cane, having earned a bachelor’s degree in studio music and jazz studies and a master’s degree in music business and entertainment industries. Sanchez is also a former adjunct professor at UM’s Frost School of Music.

Sanchez is an accomplished trombonist, and his musical journey spanned hundreds of concerts in the jazz, classical and Latin genres at venues as highly regarded as Carnegie Hall. His transition from musician to event producer paralleled his increased involvement in Miami-based community events. He was the director for the Miami Marathon and worked with the Orange Bowl before joining the DCC team in 2018.

“It was a privilege to study an art form that is all about creating an emotional connection with an audience,” Sanchez said. “Similarly, the DCC is about replicating that same connection to better health and wellness within our community.”

In addition to organizing the massive event, Sanchez leads by example. He participates in the 99-mile ride with his friend, and SebastianStrong Foundation Executive Director, Oscar Ortiz, who lost his son, Sebastian, to cancer in 2016.

Sanchez also credits Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., for giving him the motivation to improve his cycling.

“With Javier Sanchez serving as the figurative DCC team captain, Sylvester has been able to accelerate the pace of discovery and make great strides in our race toward a world without cancer,” Dr. Nimer said. “We couldn’t be more grateful.”

Read about Dolphins Challenge Cancer XIV and its record-breaking participation and fundraising here.