While cancer is something that has propped up all too often in my life and the lives of my friends and family, it never hit home to me the way it did two years ago when I received a phone call from my college roommate saying that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma.
I was shocked to hear that this from a 24-year-old, seemingly perfectly healthy young man. It was a somber reminder of how indiscriminate cancer can be. Of course, like any friend, I wanted to know what I could do. But beyond offering my caring and support, I wanted to do something more. Coincidentally, I had just started getting into indoor cycling. I decided to sign up for the Pan Mass Challenge, despite the fact that I had not ridden a bike outdoors at any great length since I was a kid, and I wasn’t very good at it then. After a fun Summer training, and occasionally falling, I rode the 192 miles from Sturbridge to Provincetown and can honestly say experience exceeded even my highest of expectations.
As incredible as the PMC was, it paled in comparison to the following September, when I got to see my roommate, now in remission, marry his college sweetheart. His recovery made possible by early detection, a positive attitude, great support from his family and friends, and the research and treatment of places like the Dana-Farber Institute.
I’m back this year for my 6th PMC and I hope you’ll join me in supporting Dana Farber by donating to my ride in this year’s Pan Mass Challenge. I think we all join together in the hope that someday we’ll achieve the ultimate goal of a cure.
Town Crier Pieces on 2010 Pan Mass Challenge
Riding for a Cure, the 2010 Pan Mass Challenge heads through Mendon – August 6, 2010
2010 PMC, A Win in the Battle against Cancer – August 20, 2010