CHICAGO, IL (December 27, 2018)Gateway for Cancer Research (Gateway), a non-profit dedicated to funding transformational cancer research, and Lateral Fitness, a full amenity, boutique studio located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, announce the 7 Minute Burpee Challenge on January 1, 2019 from 2-3 pm to recognize the courageous cancer journey of survivor Ken Monarrez and raise funds for cancer patients nationwide. Participants can join the challenge for $20 and 100% of proceeds will go directly to Gateway for Cancer Research to fund breakthrough Phase I and Phase II cancer clinical trials.

Chicago native Ken Monarrez’s life changed forever six years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer on New Year’s Day. It was on this same day, during a burpee workout that Ken experienced severe lower back pain that led him to undergo a series of scans, which revealed a growth roughly the size of a racket ball in his kidney. On January 1, 2013 Monarrez was officially diagnosed with cancer.

“Getting diagnosed with cancer changed the course of my life. I never expected it because I was a seemingly healthy endurance athlete; I was young with a growing family. Thanks to the support of my wife, children and our extended family and friends, I am living a healthy and happy life. I am back to doing the things I love – like training for and running the Chicago marathon and annually organizing a 7 minute Burpee Challenge as a way to give back to others who are going through this too,” said Monarrez.

Since moving back to Chicago in 2014, Monarrez and his family have dedicated their time and support to Gateway for Cancer Research, which is currently funding 60 clinical trials for many types of cancer at hospitals across the country. He is actively participating in clinical research funded by the National Institutes of Health.

This year participants can join the challenge virtually, from a local gym or at home. Friends and supporters from coast to coast will be joining Monarrez in spirit from places like California, Minnesota and New York. Virtual participants can register at and are encouraged to share pictures or videos of their challenge experiences on social media by using #BeastModeBeatsCancer.

“At Lateral Fitness we are committed to helping people reach their health and wellness goals, which aligns so well with Gateway’s focus on funding research that will help cancer patients live longer and have a better quality of life,” said Erik Marthaler, co-founder of Lateral Fitness, who jumped at the opportunity to host this fundraising event. “We could think of no better way to start the new year than with an intense and fun fitness challenge that benefits others in such an impactful way.”

“Gateway is proud to be a part of this challenge and we are so thankful for Ken’s tireless efforts to help find a cure for cancer. We are also grateful for the generous support of Lateral Fitness for this inspiring event,” said Michael Burton, interim president of Gateway. “Ken’s story resonates so deeply within us all because cancer effects so many lives. All proceeds from today’s event will directly fund patient-centric impactful cancer clinical trials where true innovation and transformational discoveries occur.”

Event Details
Lateral Fitness
314 W. Superior Street
Chicago, IL

January 1, 2019
2 – 3 pm

Purchase Tickets Here:

About Gateway for Cancer Research

Gateway for Cancer Research℠ is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization committed to funding innovative cancer research that helps people living with cancer to feel better, live longer and conquer cancer TODAY! Thanks to generous underwriting, 99 cents of every dollar Gateway receives directly funds Phase I and Phase II cancer clinical trials at leading research institutions across the world. Over the past 27 years Gateway has raised more than $80 million for cancer research and funded 160 clinical trials. Get involved today by visiting, like us on Facebook at and join the conversation on Twitter at @DemandCures, #BeAGateway.


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99 cents of every dollar received directly funds cancer clinical trials


Current Gateway-funded clinical trials


Clinical trials funded at leading institutions worldwide


Funds one patient for one day at a Gateway-funded clinical trial


Mission Partners