Summit Health Cares is hosting its first annual Summit Challenge, June 5 at The Park in Berkeley Heights. This fun event will help raise funds for Summit Health Cares’ Cancer Comfort Project.

Participants in the Summit Challenge will take on a 2.5 mile multi-level obstacle course running from one challenge to the next, where they will jump, crawl, balance and climb. The course will be surrounded by a festival of food and entertainment and there will even be a kid zone for families.
Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner, all are invited to join in on the fun and help raise funds for Summit Health Cares’ Cancer Comfort Project.  The Comfort Project offers multiple resources, from one-on-one patient navigation services helping access community resources to movement and mindfulness classes, therapeutic music and more – everything is aimed at providing comfort and easing stress and anxiety for patients and their families fighting cancer.
For people like Michelle Perry of Rockaway, it’s a cause that’s very personal. Perry, a high school teacher in Parsippany and an avid athlete who often participates in triathlons and iron man races has a family history of cancer. In January 2021, Perry went in for her routine mammogram and ultrasound at Summit Health. Nothing was detected but her doctor urged her to get an MRI due to her family history. That’s when they discovered she had stage 0 breast cancer along the right side of her breast.
In April, she went in for a full mastectomy. Michelle credits Summit Health for saving her life and will be participating in the challenge with a team of family and friends so she can support people like her that are fighting cancer.
I don’t know if I would’ve had such a successful recovery, such a successful outcome without the Summit Health Cares team,” she said. “They really do make a difference.”
The Comfort Project also provides patients and families with one-time grants for critical, non-medical expenses. This allows them to reduce anxiety and focus on what’s most important – getting healthy.
“Every time a patient of mine has received a Patient in Need Grant, they are overcome with gratitude,” says Dr. Sarada Gurubhagavatula, MD, MPH Hematology/Oncology, Florham Park Oncology. “These grants help alleviate some of the financial stress that patients may feel when they’re going through cancer treatments.”
“Every single person participating [in the Summit Challenge] should realize how big of an impact they’re going to have on someone’s life,” says Perry. “Because of them, someone will get not only the medical care, but any type of care that they may need.”
Everyone in the community is invited to participate in the Summit Challenge and make a difference.  For more information about the Summit Challenge, to register as a Summit Challenger or to make a donation visit TakeTheSummitChallenge.com.