More than 5,000 walkers and volunteers participated in Lowell General Hospital’s 18th annual TeamWalk for CancerCare held on May 21.

The largest single-day fundraising event in Merrimack Valley brought in $920,000 to provide services and support for local cancer patients and their families. The total is a record for the event, but just short of its $1 million goal. Organizers have pledged to make a final push for donations before September 30 to reach the $1 million mark.

All funds raised directly support patients at the Cancer Center at Lowell General Hospital and those fighting cancer throughout the Merrimack Valley. The contributions to TeamWalk provide transportation to and from treatments, support groups and services, wigs, select medication for those in need, and many health and wellness programs.

“Nobody fights alone,” said Jody White, CEO of Circle Health, while addressing the crowd that came out on a picture-perfect Sunday morning to support family, friends and neighbors who have been touched by a cancer diagnosis. “Every dollar raised from the event goes to help treat patients and help families cope with cancer.”

The walk has become symbolic of the common bond that clinicians, patients, families, caregivers, medical support staff, and the community have in their fight against cancer. Many of those individuals are featured in the TeamWalk video set to Rachel Platten’s Fight Song which depicts the unified front formed by those affected by the disease. It can be viewed at www.TeamWalk.org.

Dr. Murat Anamur, Medical Director of the Cancer Center at Lowell General Hospital reminded those gathered for opening ceremonies, “We don’t treat cancer as a disease, rather we treat people with cancer.”

This year’s event was hosted by WCVB Chief Meteorologist Harvey Leonard and Lowell native and radio personality Lori Grande.  Rene Rancourt of the Boston Bruins performed the National Anthem during opening ceremonies accompanied by the Color Guard from Lowell High School.

Kevin Campbell served as event chairman for the fifth time. Campbell’s team, JoMama, named after his wife Joanne who lost her battle to cancer in 2008 is one of the event’s top fundraising teams.

“I know how important it is to have support during the time of treatment and after it,” said Campbell. “The support of so many will help to continue to provide this valuable service to so many area families.”

The total amount raised by TeamWalk 2017 will continue to grow as donations are accepted through Oct. 1, 2017. Donations may be hand-carried or mailed to TeamWalk for CancerCare, c/o Lowell General Hospital, 295 Varnum Avenue, Lowell, MA  01854 or donations by credit card may be made online at www.teamwalk.org.