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The Story Behind the Gorder Walk

Chuck Gorder, pictured with his son Bruce Gorder, for whom the walk is named.

Bruce Brunner Gorder was a Navy Junior and graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 1973. He attended San Diego State University on a basketball scholarship and later bcame a CPA. While earning his MBA at Stanford, Bruce learned he had melanoma and battled his disease for many years. In 1992, he passed away at just 37, behind a young wife, Vicki, and three year old daughter, Gabrielle.

Charles "Chuck" Gorder, Sr., Bruce's father, along with Bruce's mother Bonnie and wife Vicki, were determined to use Bruce's memory to make a difference for future melanoma patients and ultimately find a cure. They founded the Bruce Gorder 5K Walk for Melanoma, first in Boston, and later at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. Chuck became an advocate for melanoma patients and families, serving two terms as chair during his 24 year tenure on the Moores Cancer Center Board of Visitors. In 25 years of the walk, over $2 million was raised and more than 3,000 people given free screenings for skin cancers. 

In November 2017, Chuck passed away at the age of 92. He was a dedicated family man; a loving husband to his first wife Bonnie until her passing from cancer in 1994 and later to his second wife of 20 years, Rhona; a faithful Christian; a proud Navy veteran; a philanthropist and cancer advocate; and a practicing lawyer for over 50 years.

Shortly following his passing, Rhona Gorder and the melanoma team at Moores Cancer Center decided to host one more walk, the 25th annual event, to honor Chuck and Bruce's legacy on the San Diego community. Councilwoman Barbara Bry proclaimed October 13, 2018 to be "Chuck Gorder Day". The generosity of Chuck, the Gorder family, and the thousands of supporters over 25 years has had a profound impact both at Moores Cancer Center and on the state of melanoma research nationally. It has helped develop more effective, less toxic treatments for patients with melanoma and has especially advanced work in immunotherapy.

We are proud to honor both Chuck Gorder and Bruce Gorder. Donations can be made in their memory to melanoma research at Moores Cancer Center.

Thank you for Supporting the Bruce Gorder 5K Walk for Melanoma