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PPD Runs for Mama Goose

Event raises money for cancer research in honor of PPD employee’s mother-in-law.

Adults, children and dogs ran and walked to help raise money for cancer research at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center during an event organized by an employee and her family. Nearly 50 members of TeamPPD, recruited by the community affairs committee in the Middleton office, participated in the Mama Goose Run.

“It was a great experience, and is nice to see the PPD presence at the event,” said James Thomas, a group leader for PPD. “As the Mama Goose run supports a local organization and helps individuals and families that are impacted by all forms of cancer, it’s great that PPD and employees can work toward a cancer-free world!”

The Mama Goose Run holds special significance for PPD employees in Middleton. Organized by Kari Giesfeldt, an associate group leader for PPD, and her husband, Matt, the fundraiser is named after Matt’s mom, Peggy “Mama Goose” Giesfeldt.

When Matt was in high school, his peers tagged him with the nickname “Goose,” a play on his last name. As a result, his mom was dubbed “Mama Goose.”

Peggy died in 2009 after a seven-year battle with sarcoma. The Carbone Cancer Center is recognized throughout the Midwest and the nation as one of the leading innovators in cancer research, quality patient care and active community involvement. 

Since the race’s first year in 2009, it has grown, as has PPD’s participation. Last year, PPD’s team had 25 members — compared to nearly 50 members this year.

David Mark, a senior scientist for PPD, ran the race with his wife. They were joined by their dog and one-year-old son — his parents’ biggest cheerleader.

“He’s proud to say that he was the fastest stroller baby because he spent so much time urging his parents to run faster,” David said. “The run is very stroller-friendly, which is great, and dog-friendly, and Matt gives out prizes to the top finishing dog.”

Michelle Rick, an associate group leader for PPD, volunteered at a race station, and enjoyed cheering for participants as they raced past.

“I liked seeing my colleagues and their families as they passed by my volunteer station because I could cheer for them by name,” she said. “This race is very family- and pet-friendly!”

Explore other Life at PPD articles to discover the many ways PPD engages with local communities across the globe.