The John Wayne Cancer Foundation’s 2022 John Wayne Grit Series has raised $234,000 for the fight against cancer. This is a marked increase of 63% from 2021’s Grit Series. Fifteen hundred runners and volunteers participated in the five-run series, which took place in Pioneertown, Newport Coast and Lone Pine in California; Ridgway, Colorado; and Fort Worth, Texas. Special thanks to Bruce Engle (pictured below) from the Lone Pine race, who was the top individual fundraiser this year.

 This year, Philip Lawson of Dallas (pictured at left) was one of the top individual fundraisers and also the team captain of Team Patterson & Associates Insurance Agency Inc. for the Fort Worth Stockyards 5K. Team Patterson was the top fundraising team for theJohn Wayne Grit Series in 2022. As an individual, Lawson raised $5,844 at last count. He has fundraised for the foundation for several consecutive years, and this year we are pleased to announce that he reached his personal goal of raising $25,000, so he can name a John Wayne Cancer Foundation cancer research grant in memory of his dad, Ron Lawson. The Ron Lawson Memorial Cancer Research Grant is for the Navajo Healthy Stomach Research project, which is focused on preventing stomach cancer in the Navajo Nation.

 Other participants included Victor Jones, who brought his family (pictured above) to the Fort Worth Grit Series event in memory of his wife, Delores Jones. The family wore matching shirts and carried posters featuring Delores during the event.

 John Wayne fans come in all ages – and from all nations. Coby Chambliss, 25 (pictured below), was a top fundraiser at the Fort Worth Stockyards Grit Series race. College-age twins participated in Ridgway, which offers a course that runs through the area where True Grit was filmed. And Richard Malmgren was the top fundraiser for Pioneertown, running in honor of his wife, who survived her battle with breast cancer. Malmgren, who now lives in the Carolinas, also participated in the Fort Worth race and claims to be Sweden’s biggest John Wayne fan.

Duke University Medical Director and Professor of Surgery Dr. Maggie DiNome

John Wayne believed in searching for a cure for cancer. A survivor of lung cancer who ultimately succumbed to stomach cancer in 1979, the Duke was adamant about helping all people fight cancer. The John Wayne Cancer Foundation was created in his honor, and the John Wayne Grit Series helps ensure it will be a lasting legacy of which Wayne would be proud.

 “My dad would be humbled by the fact that individuals and teams are using the Grit Series to raise money for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation to fight this terrible disease through pioneering research and programs,” said Ethan Wayne, director of the foundation. “We’re proud of the growth the series has had in terms of both number of runners and funds raised, and plan to continue that growth in 2023.”

If you or a loved one have been affected by cancer and want to fight back or just love to run in beautiful locations with great people, consider participating in a 2023 John Wayne Grit Series event. Here is the lineup:

 March 25: Pioneertown, California Half Marathon and 10K
 April 22: Newport Coast, California 50K, 25K and 5K
 Sept. 23: Ridgway, Colorado Half Marathon and 5K
 Oct. 21: Lone Pine, California Half Marathon and 10K
 Nov. 11: Fort Worth, Texas 5K

 To learn more about the John Wayne Grit Series or to register for a race, click HERE.

Duke University Medical Director and Professor of Surgery Dr. Maggie DiNome
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