In 20 years, Cavallaro has raised more than $40,000 through the walk for cancer services and programs on the North Shore. Her two children, Molly, 22, and Peter, 19, grew up riding in wagons on the walk, and now walk it themselves.
This year, Molly has organized a walk team, dubbed "Live Strong for Lisa." They hope to raise more than $6,000.
Molly ordered 300 team bracelets, which have made their way to donors in 13 states.
On Sunday, the route starts and ends at Salem Willows Park; walkers head out at 8 a.m., and runners start at 11 a.m.
The thousands of participants will be able to stop at entertainment and refreshment breaks along the 6.2-mile route. The run is sponsored by Salem's Wicked Running Club.
Since 1991, the North Shore Cancer Walk has raised more than $16 million. This year, all proceeds will support cancer services and programs at the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center in Danvers and help fund renovations to the inpatient cancer floor at Salem Hospital.
With cancer patients, their families and cancer center staff participating, the day of the walk is "a sad day, but also a happy day," Cavallaro said.
She stepped into North Shore Medical Center's cancer center for the first time with her brother last fall.
Two things struck her, she said: the fact that people of all ages were there, being treated for cancer, and the attentiveness of the staff.
From the greeters at the door to the oncologists, she said, "it's like they were handpicked to do what they do."
Staff writer Bethany Bray can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @SNewsBethany.