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WWT’s Joe Koenig Steps Up to Fight Cancer

After surviving his battle against cancer, WWT President Joe Koenig walked more than 51,000 steps in support of the American Cancer Society’s Fit2BeCancerFree™ Challenge.

July 13, 2020 4 minute read

As the newest member and chairman of American Cancer Society’s (ACS) CEOs Against Cancer – Missouri Chapter, WWT President Joe Koenig participated in the fourth annual Fit2BeCancerFree™ Challenge, a virtual step-tracking fitness event promoting cancer prevention in the workplace. 

The three-week event launched July 16. Koenig and other St. Louis-area CEOs pledged to walk a hefty 40,000 steps that day while maintaining social distancing and following all safety precautions. Koenig surpassed that goal with more than 51,000 steps. Everyone was able to follow Koenig’s step journey on Twitter @KoenigJK as he visited popular downtown St. Louis attractions and WWT’s North American Integration Center (NAIC) and global headquarters. Koenig was joined by his wife, Kim, and several WWT employees, including: 

  • Ann Marr, Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources.
  • Matt Horner, Vice President, Global Enterprise Sales.
  • Mark Frederickson, Director, Human Resources.
  • Laura Kuehner, Director, Executive Initiatives.
  • Rebecca Morrison, Public Relations Manager.
  • Alyssa Divjak, Sr. Benefits Specialist – Health & Wellness.
  • Sarah Chiodini, Corporate Marketing Manager.
WWT President Joe Koenig visits a 42 Doors of Hope installation in St. Louis. The door is decorated with colorful balloons and the words "faith, love, hope."
Joe Koenig visiting one of the 42 Doors of Hope installations in St. Louis.

Koenig also challenged WWT employees to reach a combined 50 million steps, which represents both the number of steps it takes to circle the globe and the global impact of cancer. At the end of the challenge, WWT employees nearly tripled that amount with 134,888,861 steps, finishing first for total steps in the St. Louis Challenge and fourth in the nationwide challenge. 

According to ACS, one in three people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime with a new diagnosis happening every 19 seconds — an experience Koenig is all too familiar with. 

In 2017, Koenig was diagnosed with tongue, throat and mouth cancer. After multiple surgeries and rounds of radiation, he is a cancer survivor and passionate about ACS’ mission to create a world without cancer. 

“We play a critical role in partnering with the American Cancer Society to make an impact on the fight against cancer in our communities and across the country,” said Koenig. “Cancer is a serious health issue for many families and a top workplace issue for many businesses, costing U.S. employers billions of dollars in expenses productivity losses each year. I’m honored to participate in the Fit2BeCancerFree CEO challenge. Through a bit of friendly competition, we can motivate employees across our companies to get moving, and together we can save more lives from cancer.”

Poster in downtown St. Louis promoting Hope Lodge St. Louis, which helps cancer patients far from home, feel at home.

WWT CEO Jim Kavanaugh is also supporting the fight against cancer as the campaign chair for Hope Lodge, which provides a free place to stay for cancer patients and their caregivers when their best hope for effective treatment is in another city. Kavanaugh is currently working to raise $10 million to build a new Hope Lodge in St. Louis. During the step challenge event, WWT employees raised $17,000 to benefit Hope Lodge in St. Louis. WWT matched the donation for a grand total of $34,000. 

If you'd like to join the fight against cancer, consider donating to the American Cancer Society or volunteering at a Hope Lodge near you. 

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the attacking cancer from every angle. For more information go to https://www.cancer.org/.

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