Published in the July 12, 2016 edition

WAKEFIELD — Ian Lasker, 4, is a Walk Hero for the 2016 Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai.

As a Jimmy Fund Walk Hero, Ian will help inspire the 9,000 participants expected to take part in the annual event scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 25. Participants will walk up to 26.2 miles along the historic Boston Marathon course to raise money for the Jimmy Fund for lifesaving adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at the nation’s premier cancer center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk raises the most money of any single-day walk in the nation and organizers aim to raise more than $8.3 million in 2016.

Ian was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and treated at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His favorite movie of all time is Disney’s Cars.

Walk Heroes are matched with Jimmy Fund Walk teams to provide an inspiring opportunity for participants to connect with patients. Often, participants and Hero families form long-lasting friendships that extend beyond the Jimmy Fund Walk. This year, Ian is matched with Team DeFeet Cancer.

“We all know why we’re participating since so many of us have had personal cancer experiences, but our Heroes really make the connection even deeper,” says Zack Blackburn, assistant vice president of the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. “In turn the walkers provide extra motivation to the Walk Heroes during and after their treatment.”

On July 12, Walk Heroes, their families and the teams walking in their honor will meet during the Hero Match Party at Dave & Buster’s in Woburn. The Hero Match Party provides an opportunity for all involved to get to know one another and play games together.

Walkers can choose from four routes along the historic course:

– Marathon Walk (26.2 miles from Hopkinton)

– Half Marathon Walk (13.1 miles from Wellesley)

– 10K Walk (6.2 miles from Newton)

– 5K Walk (3.1 miles from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area).

Supporters unable to participate on event day can become “Virtual Walkers” and fundraise for the event online or walk on a date, and in a location, that is more convenient for them.

Walkers are greeted by poster-sized photographs of Walk Heroes displayed at each mile and half mile marker to remind them why their participation and fundraising is so valuable.

The Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai finishes at Copley Square in Boston, where participants can celebrate and enjoy entertainment, a speaking program, and complimentary food and beverages.

To register for the 2016 Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai (#JimmyFundWalk), to support a participant, or to volunteer, or call (866) 531-9255. Registrants can enter the promo code NEWS for $5 off registration fee.

The Jimmy Fund ( solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. It is an official charity of the Boston Red Sox, as well as the official charity of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Mass Challenge, and the Variety Children’s Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer for patients and families worldwide. Follow the Jimmy Fund on and on Twitter: @TheJimmyFund.

From achieving the first remissions in cancer with chemotherapy in 1948, to developing the very latest new therapies, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the world’s leading centers of cancer research and treatment. It is the only center ranked in the top 4 of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals for both adult and pediatric cancer care.

Dana-Farber sits at the center of a wide range of collaborative efforts to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement, and advocacy. Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center provides the latest in cancer care for adults; Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center for children. The Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center unites the cancer research efforts of five Harvard academic medical centers and two graduate schools, while Dana-Farber Community Cancer Care provides high quality cancer treatment in communities outside Boston’s Longwood Medical Area.

Dana-Farber is dedicated to a unique 50/50 balance between cancer research and care, and much of the Institute’s work is dedicated to translating the results of its discovery into new treatments for patients locally, and around the world.