Dolphins notebook

Miami Dolphins’ fund-raising effort grows with fourth annual Dolphins Cycling Challenge

Football fans are now accustomed to seeing pink accessories on NFL players as part of the league’s breast cancer awareness month. Whereas the pastels spread awareness on a national or even global level, the Dolphins Cycling Challenge localizes the league-wide effort.

The fourth annual DCC will be held Nov. 2-3, featuring rides that range from 13 miles to 170 miles. The event has raised $3.8 million since its foundation in 2010, and Michael Mandich, son of Dolphins legend Jim Mandich and now the CEO of the DCC, said the event is on pace to raise approximately $4million this year.

The DCC sends the funds raised by riders to the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Mandich said a 100 percent donation simply isn’t possible for national fund-raising efforts.

“Inevitably, some of those dollars do escape what it’s raised for,” Mandich said. “Here, what we’re saying is we want all that money to be used here in an effort to cure cancer.”

Mandich said the local focus of the event is what makes it particularly effective and why its participation has continued to grow, with more than 2,000 riders already signed up for this year’s event.

The benefits of local treatment are enormous, said Barbara Wolverton, a cancer survivor who spoke at Wednesday’s news conference.

“The one thing you don’t think about when you’re diagnosed with cancer is how important it is to be treated close to home and how important it is for the recovery process to have your family close by,” she said.

“I went and saw numerous doctors here and certainly had the opportunity to go to other places outside of the community. But when I saw the doctors here at Sylvester, they gave me so much hope, and hope is really what you’re looking for when you’re diagnosed with cancer.”

Sylvester Center director and oncologist Stephen D. Nimer said Sylvester was one of three cancer treatment centers in the country to receive a perfect score this year from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

According to Nimer, additional funding, like that generated from the DCC, has enabled Sylvester to be on the cutting edge of cancer treatment and research. Scientists there recently invented a new drug to treat lymphoma, and the number of bone marrow transplants done at Sylvester has more than doubled in the past year.

Mandich hopes the event will raise $10 million annually by 2020.

“There’s nothing in South Florida that comes close to that kind of impact, and we’re really excited to see it grow,” Mandich said.

More information on the Dolphins Cycling Challenge can be found at


Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe again did not participate in practice Wednesday with a shoulder injury. After warming up and stretching with the team, Ellerbe worked alone on conditioning during individual and team drills.

Cornerback Dimitri Patterson (groin) was limited in Wednesday’s practice and is optimistic that the bye week can allow him can return to the lineup Sunday. Patterson hasn’t played since the season opener against Cleveland and did not participate in practice at all until this week.


After Tuesday’s release of recently acquired defensive tackle Marvin Austin, there was speculation that the Dolphins would sign or trade for an offensive lineman. However, the team still hasn’t filled the open spot with another player and heads into Thursday’s off day with 52 players on the roster.

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