The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (Pan-Mass Challenge or just PMC) is a charitable, 180 mile, 2-day bike ride across the state of Massachusetts that raises money for cancer research and treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund. The ride was the first fundraising bike-a-thon in the country, starting in 1980. Since then, over 55,000 riders and 33,000 support volunteers have made it one of the largest and most successful athletic charitable events in the world, raising $270M for cancer research. Last year, 100% of the $30M raised was given to the charity (making up 50% of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue) made up of donations from over 200,000 individual contributions. This year’s ride will take place on August 7th and 8th with over 5,000 riders and almost 3,000 support volunteers (yeah, it’s big) along its several routes. This year represents my seventh time participating in this great event.
Last year I rode on a special route, 342 miles across Italy. This year I’m being a bit less ambitious and am doing one of the standard PMC routes without leaving the country or even the state. Unlike previous years, where I’d have about 1,500 miles of training under my belt by mid-June, a knee problem has kept me off the bike almost entirely for the last nine months. I’ve only ridden about 100 miles at this point. That’s gonna make the PMC a bit of a challenge this year and it might mean a lot of time in the saddle during the ride. I feel some bond with the effort, though, and want to make the best of it.
Last year, my aunt died of cancer and my mother, a cancer survivor several times over passed away. Earlier this year, my wife’s aunt died of cancer as well. Sadly, my story is not all that different from many others’ – most of us have been touched by the horrible disease.
While I think of myself as a generous donor to many causes, sometimes I need a kick in the pants to remind myself to write a check. If you’re like me, please feel free to treat this as your gentle nudge. While I’d appreciate your support and donation for my ride this year, supporting me isn’t what’s important. If you’re financially able, supporting a worthy cause like cancer care and research and a great organization like the Jimmy Fund is. So, sponsorship of my ride is less important than sponsorship of these organizations and efforts – financially or otherwise.
If you’re interested in donating to Dana Farber and this seems like a reasonable way of doing it, you can do it online at this web page or click on the PMC logo to the left. My PMC Gift ID is: wh0028 if you access the PMC web site another way. Of course, you can make the donation directly to Dana Farber or to the PMC.
No obligation and donations can be made anonymously, if you prefer. Thanks for even reading this far and if you choose to donate, thanks in advance for your support.