On the first Saturday in May, we walk together as the community of the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant (PBMT) Program. Along the way, as we carry balloons with patients' names on them, people stop, talk together, and enjoy each other. Finally, we release the balloons.

The Rainbow of Heroes Walk commemorates and celebrates all Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant patients and their families. Refreshments, music, and activities for everyone are provided.

The Walk is not only the main fundraiser for the Duke PBMT Family Support Program. More than that, it is a reunion for patients, families, nurses, therapists, doctors, volunteers, and supporters who have come to know each other through the months-long transplant process.

Schedule for the Rainbow of Heroes Walk

9:00 AM Games, Bounce House, Music, Rainbow Raffle Begin
11:00 AM  Games, Bounce House, Rainbow Raffle End
11:00 AM  Patient/Sibling Picture
11:15 AM  Walk Begins
12:00 Noon  Recognitions and Balloon Release
12:30 PM  Free Lunch provided on the grounds

The Mission of the Duke PBMT Family Support Program

The Duke PBMT Family Support Program provides over 25 programs, including patient activities, incentive programs, volunteers, parent support and financial assistance to help ‘lighten the burden’ for families. We try to provide some sense of normalcy for families who are in extremely stressful circumstances. Since we are not funded by Duke, we rely solely on philanthropic contributions.


Fast Facts about the Walk

  • The Walk event starts at 9 AM with a carnival featuring games, bounce houses, refreshments, and a Rainbow Raffle.
  • At 11 AM, we ask for any patients and siblings in attendance to gather on the hill for our annual patient/sibling picture.
  • The Walk itself begins at 11:15 AM.  We walk 13 laps around the Duke Center for Living track, with each lap in honor of a different part of the Duke PBMT program.
  • Once the Walk has concluded, we gather on the infield of the track for a time of recognitions/presentations and for the penultimate moment of the Rainbow of Heroes Walk--the balloon release.
  • A free picnic lunch is offered to everyone in attendance at the conclusion of the balloon release.
  • Parking is free at the Rainbow of Heroes Walk.
  • No dogs or animals are allowed at the event.
  • The balloons we use for the event are bio-degradeable. 

Looking for Lodging?

We have made arrangements for discounts at the following local hotels.  When calling, please let the operator know that you will be attending the Rainbow of Heroes Walk:

Millennium Hotel
2800 Campus Walk Way
Durham, NC 27705

(919) 382-5080

Staybridge Suites
3704 Mt. Moriah Road

Durham, NC27707
(919) 401-9800

rainbow of heroes Walk sponsors