The story of Liam & his family
Living life and giving back
Connecting the Lobo Cancer Challenge community
All of our Ambassadors have demonstrated commitment and leadership in bringing their friends, family and community together in the fight against cancer. They have a passion for helping others. Now, as a Lobo Cancer Challenge Ambassador, they can take their support for fellow New Mexicans in their cancer journey to another level; building relationships on behalf of the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, providing encouragement, and educating others on the importance of cancer research.
Get to know our Ambassadors:
Dr. Koh Boayue
Dr. Koh Boayue is a pediatric hematologist / oncologist who specializes in treating cancer and blood disorders in children. Pediatric hematologists / oncologists treat children with diseases of the blood, spleen and lymph glands. They treat conditions such as anemia, clotting disorders, sickle cell disease, hemophilia, leukemia and lymphoma.
Dr. Boayue is an Associate Professor in The University of New Mexico Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Oncology, and practices at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center.
She supports her patients throughout their treatment. She visits them in the clinics and during infusions and spends unrushed time with them during appointments to make sure they know how to be safe. She deeply appreciates the families and the entire team that provides care for pediatric oncology patients. She is grateful to work at UNM, where she can spend the time with her patients and their families.
This is Dr. Boayue’s fourth Lobo Cancer Challenge. She directs her donations to the Children‘s Cancer Research Fund, which she was instrumental in creating to be available for the Challenge.
We are honored that she joins us as an Ambassador for 2022. Dr. Boayue has expressed her appreciation to us in working with the Lobo Cancer Challenge to raise awareness for Childhood and Adolescent Cancer.
“I have participated in every year of the Lobo Cancer Challenge! I have enjoyed this remarkable event by raising awareness and funds, and riding or running with friends and colleagues from The University of New Mexico Foundation.
“Sadly, cancer runs on the maternal side of my family. Many years ago, my grandmother, whom I never met, and three of “mis tías” have all succumbed to cancer. My mom and I miss them dearly and will never forget the pain we witnessed our loved ones endure.
“Today, here in New Mexico, there is an abundance of hope, passion, and drive to save lives. With caregivers and patients in mind, we raise awareness and funds. On the event day, the bond created by all those who walk, run, and ride together as one can only be described as magic.
“Last year I added an honoree onto my bib: my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have never seen anyone so brave and so determined. She is my hero! I truly thank everyone at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center for caring for her, as if she were your best friend.”
“As someone with a desire to help people in every way possible, I am honored to be an ambassador!”
“I am truly honored to be an Ambassador for the Lobo Cancer Challenge this year. As a participant in the past, I was happy to fundraise for such a great cause.
“I received excellent care at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center through two different cancers. While I wish I never had to be a patient there, or anywhere, I am incredibly grateful for the up-to-date care I received there. I always look forward to seeing my team, Drs. Brown-Glaberman and Alba, as well as the wonderful nurses in the infusion center. As a physician myself, it has been difficult to be on the other side, but I have also learned so much on this journey.
“Spending time outdoors has never been so important for me as it has been since my diagnoses. Thanks to the wonderful help and support of my husband, my sisters, my Cycling Peeps, and my colleagues at Presbyterian, I continue to exercise as much as time allows. Be it paddle boarding and hiking with my husband, snow-shoeing and mountain biking with my dear Cycling Peeps, I am happy for every minute of it.
“I am riding again this year with the hope that everyone in New Mexico can have access to the type of medical care I received at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. I am proud to be able to give back as a thank you for what I received.”
“I ride in honor of my parents who both had cancer, my dear friend Kathy Thompson who passed away from cancer, and all of us who are continuing our journey.”
“Hello, my name is Tim Harris, and I am a world changer, professional hugger, and was born with AWESOME abilities. I am excited to be a Lobo Cancer Challenge Ambassador for 2022! This will be my 3rd year of participation and cancer-fighting awesomeness, and I cannot wait – oh yeah!”
“I am participating so I can help those who are still fighting their cancer battles. I hope that my journey can inspire others to move and join the fight!”
“I can’t wait to see you out there – oh yeah!”
“I am truly honored to be asked to be one of the Ambassadors for the Lobo Cancer Challenge for 2022. This will be my 4th year of participation as team captain of the Janssen Cancer Crushers. The growth that I have seen with this event over the years, even with the challenges of the pandemic makes this one of my favorite events to participate in.
“Knowing that the funds raised stay in New Mexico drives my personal motivation: to help patients where there are significant cancer health disparities that require financial support, and where the need is for research to find cures.”
“I love bringing my friends, family and colleagues together as we have all been touched by cancer. I’m looking forward to having this event in person and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together and making a difference to our amazing community.”
Michelle and Tyler Jenson
Tyler is 19 years old, and 3 years and 3 months in remission from Stage 3 Type A Bulky Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He is finishing his freshman year at Northern Arizona University where he is studying Construction Management with a minor in business, and he is the Community Service Chair for his fraternity, Sigma Chi. Tyler says, “Sports and outdoor activities have always been a huge part of my life. I love to fly fish, snowboard, mountain bike, golf, and build things.”
“When I was 15, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Being a young active teen, I was hit hard [when I was told] that now I had to take it easy and could not do some of the things I loved. Yet I was constantly making the most out of my situation. Being so active and doing the things I loved really helped me keep my head up during the hard times that the illness brought me.” Tyler wants to bring hope to others during these hard times, especially children diagnosed with pediatric cancer.
Like his mom, Michelle, Tyler has a passion for giving back, and they both have turned their focus to organizations that help those fighting cancer. Tyler’s fraternity supports Huntsman’s Cancer Institute, and Tyler and Michelle, along with Lisa Davis’ Thirty-One Gifts, provide Chemo Care Packages to families and pediatric patients.
“We are excited to team up as a family and join the Lobo Cancer Challenge. We want to help bring awareness to the UNMH Comprehensive Cancer Center and all the good they are doing there. Tyler was treated at UNMH and the support and care they gave to Tyler and the entire family left us wanting to help in any way we could.”
“We have known too many young children fighting this horrible disease and we want them to know they are not alone in this fight.”
“Having cancer may put limitations on what you can do, but it doesn't define the person you truly are!”
— Tyler Jenson
“I am humbled and honored to be a Lobo Cancer Challenge Ambassador. Like many others, cancer has affected loved ones in my life. I am grateful to the UNM Cancer Center for the endless support they provide to our communities. For the past five years, Walgreens has been a proud supporter of the Lobo Cancer Challenge.”
“I am honored to be a part of the Walgreens team as we continue to battle cancer and support our communities across New Mexico.”
“The Lobo Cancer Challenge is so important to me because I care about cancer patients in New Mexico. My brother Bob had acute myeloid leukemia and was treated at UNM cancer center. His treatment required a stem cell transplant and that was not an option at UNM at the time, or anywhere else in the state. I was identified as a match for the transplant, but we had to go out of state to get that done.
“I knew that Dr. Matthew Fero was working on getting a transplant clinic set up, and I wanted to help in any way I could to see that happen. I am so happy to see that stem cell transplant is now a reality at UNM.”
“In memory of my brother, I have volunteered and participated in the Lobo Cancer Challenge for the last 3 years and I enjoy every bit of it.”
Kaitlin Petranovich with mother Marilee
“I became involved with the Lobo Cancer Challenge through my amazing mom (Marilee Petranovich) who was a patient of, and a huge advocate for, the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. She unfortunately passed away in September of 2019, but I am honored to take her place this year as a Lobo Cancer Challenge Ambassador.
“My mom had an incredible 57 years of life and cancer was such an incredibly small part of who she was and what her life was about. The UNM Cancer Center always saw her for the amazing human being she was, and not the diagnosis that brought her through the doors.”
“The Lobo Cancer Challenge is important to me: as a physician, because it supports medical research and treatments for a challenging disease; as a proud New Mexican, because it shows the strength of our community; and as a daughter, because while I miss my mom immensely, I know she would want us to keep riding so that cancer will be an even smaller part of the lives of those patients who come next.
“We know she will be riding right alongside us in spirit!”
Together with her other two sons and Polly’s best friend, Josh founded Polly’s Run in 2009 to honor his mother after her passing. Polly inspired countless students and athletes through her teaching and coaching, and the annual Polly’s Run event rallies hundreds of friends, family members, and survivors to increase awareness and raise funds for the research to help end pancreatic cancer.
Bringing people together with a passion for fighting cancer:
“The Lobo Cancer Challenge is an incredibly special event for me. As the director of Polly's Run and the Polly Rogers Endowment for Pancreatic Cancer, it is a wonderful opportunity to fundraise and continue to raise awareness for the disease. The event has become a lifelong passion for me and I can't wait to do it again this year and the next!
“It’s also just a whole lot of fun that brings together people who all have a passion for fighting cancer.”
Born and raised in Las Vegas, New Mexico, David moved to Albuquerque in the early 2000s, and started his own event production company in 2008. Always wanting more for the beautiful city of Albuquerque and his community, David has crafted some of the best and most notable events in the city. David is also co-owner of New Nuevo, which presents curated experiences and artistic collaboration within our state. It fosters New Mexico’s creative economy. David is all about showcasing Albuquerque!
David says he is participating in the Lobo Cancer Challenge to raise money and awareness for cancer. “I lost both my grandparents to cancer. I want to honor them in a way of giving back to my community.”
“I first participated in the Lobo Cancer Challenge in the inaugural year of the event. It was a no brainer for me because my husband, David, had just finished cancer treatments at the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center and I was so thankful for their team that I wanted to do what I could to help raise money to fight cancer. I rode 25 miles in the Bosque and when I crossed the finish line, I was addicted to biking and raising money for the Lobo Cancer Challenge. After that first challenge in 2017, I was motivated to continue to help the organization and that motivation gets stronger each year.
“Three months after we moved to Albuquerque in 2016, David was diagnosed with cancer. We were brand new to New Mexico and had not established relationships with physicians. By chance, he ended up in the care of UNMH and the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. What a blessing. It was a scary time. I’d just started a new job, we knew nothing about healthcare in New Mexico and my goodness—my healthy and handsome husband had cancer? We had to put our trust in the medical team—and we did. They became our friends, our supporters and our heroes. David is well now and considered ‘without signs of disease.’ Cancer free. A survivor.
“For the 2021 Lobo Cancer Challenge, we celebrated the five year mark since his diagnosis by hiking the infamous La Luz Trail, the 10-mile trek up Sandia. We trained for weeks and each time we trained I got emotional, and when we finished the grueling hike and had the Tram terminal in site the emotions hit again. I’m so thankful my husband has the health for us to do adventurous things together.
“I appreciate the Lobo Cancer Challenge because you can choose the research that receives all of the money you made raising funds. I lost my mother to colon cancer. She didn’t know she was so sick. She was diagnosed and died five days later. I choose for the money I raise for the Lobo Cancer Challenge to go to gastrointestinal cancer research. My hope is that the money can be used to pay for research for a cure and to raise awareness about tthe mportance of annual colonoscopy screenings.
“Right now I have two friends fighting cancer. It seems like the ones I love keep getting hit by this monster and I want to fight back.”
“I’m honored to be an Ambassador for the 2022 event and that my employer, KOAT Action 7 News, is such a strong supporter of the Lobo Cancer Challenge. I look forward to raising money and riding with Team KOAT for the 2022 Lobo Cancer Challenge.”
“2022 will be my fourth straight year cycling a 100-plus mile route with the HEME Team. This event is important to me for many reasons, as cancer touches the lives of us all. And riding with lifelong friends is a great way to raise awareness and funding for the amazing people and programs affiliated with UNM and the Lobo Cancer Challenge!”
“My first year participating in the Lobo Cancer Challenge was in 2020, I hiked Pino Trail! My second year in 2021, I hiked La Luz and I have dedicated both of my challenges to my friends, family and patients who I treat and who we have lost.
“I am an Oncology Nurse here at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. Being an Oncology Nurse offers me the opportunity to see my patients and families in some of their most vulnerable moments, I participate for ALL my patients and families.
“I am grateful that I can support specific program areas in the Lobo Cancer Challenge, which allows me to raise funds towards research and patient care for those families who are struggling financially and otherwise.”
with thanks to our...
- Jesse Armijo
- Mariah Candelaria
- Elyse Eckart
- Elaine Fero Gronberg
- Dakotah Jim
- Laura Niel
- Colleen Petranovich
- Kyle Stepp
- Kristin Underwood
- Clent Wilson
2021 Youth Representative
- Tyler Jenson
- Alma Aguilar
- Dr. Matthew Fero
- Marcos Paz
- Kaitlin Petranovich
- Deanna Rhodes
- Joshua Rogers
- Kyle Stepp
- Ruth Ann Tibbetts
- Andrea Trujillo
2020 Youth Representative
- Tyler Jenson
- Connor Adams
- Marilee Petranovich
- Mueez Rehman
- Maggie Smith
- Mike Westphal