Well, it is finally PMC week and I wanted to give you an update as I am preparing for my first-ever Pan-Mass Challenge. I have spent a lot of time on my new road bike, including a solo 75-mile ride on Cape Cod a couple of weeks ago. I am looking forward to heading to Sturbridge, MA on Friday for the kickoff dinner and then hopping on the bike early Saturday morning for the 108 mile ride to Bourne.
When I get off my bike in Bourne, that will be the longest single day ride I have ever done. And I will enjoy the best tasting Harpoon IPA I probably will ever have and then have my picture taken with all 200+ survivor/riders in the Living Proof photo (11 years and stronger than ever!) Then on Sunday, its 84 miles from Bourne to Provincetown. Lots of time on the seat this weekend. Lots of time to think and be grateful. I have been so blessed to have received such support during this training time from my family and friends. I know that some of you on the other end of this email have had trying times recently because of cancer in your families. Believe me, you are in my thoughts and prayers every day and especially this weekend while I ride.
I want to share two quick stories with you from my PMC training and fundraising. The first happened while I was having lunch on my Cape Cod ride two weekends ago. I was at a small market, ordering a sandwich. A mom in her mid-40s at most and her 6 year old son were nearby, trying to figure out the Slushie machine. The mom turned to me, noticing my bike jersey, and asked “Are you training for the PMC?” I said yes. She said, without hesitation, “Thank you so much. I will be out there cheering for you. I lost my husband to cancer last year.” As you can imagine, that hit me hard. I told her that I would look for her and said some other things that I hope were received well. Then, I walked to the parking lot, with my sandwich, and just started crying. The rest of the day, all I could hear were her words and all I could see was that little boy, who had lost his dad. That one moment will probably live with me forever, and has only fueled my motivation to ride the PMC this year and beyond.
The second story I have to share is from PMC Day at Fenway Park. My wife Michele, her parents Ann and Norm, and my brother Tim came along with me. I will have a link to the video of the highlights of the day below in the email, so I won’t bore you with the details here, but it was a tremendous event and a fun day. One of the speakers said the following “We are this close (holding his fingers very close together) to being able to prevent 50% of all cancers and being able to treat 50% of all cancers. It will happen and it will happen in your lifetime.” This would not be happening as quickly without the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the Jimmy Fund, and the nearly $200 million that the PMC has raised in its 27 years.
So, are you still reading? Well, time to close. I want to thank all of my dear friends and family who have donated to my ride and to the many more, especially all of my amazing colleagues at Harpoon who have supported and encouraged me along the way. I started out trying to raise the minimum amount to ride, and I have already exceeded that. I hope to be able to raise nearly $5000 for the DFCI this year. If you are one of the 75 people/families who have already donated, THANK YOU!
If you haven’t donated yet, please know that anything at all is appreciated. All donations are tax deductible, and the PMC is famous for the efficiency of it’s fundraising (last year in excess of 99% of the money donated to support riders went directly to DFCI), so you can be comfortable in the knowledge that the money you send is being used for the most good. You can donate by putting a check payable to “PMC” or “Pan Mass Challenge” in my hand or by mailing it to me, or by going to my PMC eGift page: http://www.pmc.org/mypmc/profiles.asp?Section=story&eGiftID=AS0171
If you have donated or may donate, check to see if you work for a company that offers matching donations: http://www.pmc.org/Fundraising.asp?topic=/deposits/matchcompany.
When I first got involved in the PMC I felt uncomfortable asking people for money. However I quickly learned that you never know whose life has been affected by cancer, and who might be looking for a way to make a difference, so I’ve gotten to the point of bluntly (shamelessly!) emailing all of you to ask for help. I apologize for whatever annoyance this brings. I look forward to having a beer with each of you soon and recounting my experiences at PMC 2007.
I wish you and your family all the best. Cheers,