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Jimmy Fund walk goes virtual in fight against cancer

Walkers pass the cheering section at Commonwealth Avenue and Hereford Street in 2018 during the 30th Annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. This year's walk, scheduled for Oct. 4, will be held virtually, organizers said.
Walkers pass the cheering section at Commonwealth Avenue and Hereford Street in 2018 during the 30th Annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. This year's walk, scheduled for Oct. 4, will be held virtually, organizers said.Globe Staff

The Boston Marathon-Jimmy Fund Walk is going virtual this year due to safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit organization said.

The fund-raiser will still be held on Oct. 4, but instead of following the marathon course from Hopkinton to Boston, walkers this year will be able to participate from their own homes and neighborhoods, the Jimmy Fund said in a press release Wednesday.

“Participants will be encouraged to ‘Walk Your Way’ from wherever they are most comfortable—whether that be from their neighborhood, favorite trail or from a treadmill in their own home,” the Jimmy Fund said in the release.

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Fundraising requirements have been lowered for this year's event, $100 for adults and $25 for those 12 years old and younger, according to the release. Everyone who registers will receive a bib, and medal and the first 5,000 walkers to register will receive a commemorative Jimmy Fund Walk T-shirt.

Participants may choose to walk one of four distances - a 5K, 10K, half marathon or a marathon, said Kaitlynn Cooney, a spokeswoman for the Jimmy Fund.

However, this year participants decide for themselves how far they want to walk.

“They can walk a full marathon over several days, take a few laps around the block, or even just take some steps on the treadmill,” Cooney said “We are still working out the details for the virtual Walk event on October 4th, but everyone is encouraged to do what they feel the most comfortable with.”

Proceeds from the event will go toward supporting adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The walk has raised more than $145 million for the institute over the more than 30-year history of the event.

Zack Blackburn, the walk’s director, said the organization is more committed than ever to help those suffering from cancer.

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“While we can’t see everyone in person this year, we are excited to walk in a new way for cancer patients,” Blackburn said in the release. “Our teams are energized now more than ever to really make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and ultimately find a cure for this horrible disease. Together, we can make a difference, from a distance.”


Adam Sennott can be reached at adam.sennott@globe.com.