Now that I am feeling healthy again I figure that I need to take advantage of it since I now know how fleeting health and well being can be. I am registered for 2 triathlons this up coming season and am anxious to start training. I am back to running but mostly inside because I have become a total wimp about running in the cold. As much as I hate the treadmill, it is better than nothing.
With my newfound understanding of the evanescence of life, I also need to check off some of these lifelong goals that have been just beyond my reach. My aspirations are right there in front of me, like the plastic rabbit at a greyhound track, it’s just that I can never seem to quite catch them. It’s time to change that.
One of those goals that I have decided to stop talking about and just “do” is the Pan Mass Challenge. This 2 day 153 mile ride raises money for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. Their mission statement explains:
|The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge raises money for life-saving cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institutethrough an annual bike-a-thon that crosses the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Since its founding in 1980, the PMC has successfully melded support from committed cyclists, volunteers, corporate sponsors and individual contributors. All are essential to the PMC’s goal and model: to attain maximum fundraising efficiency while increasing its annual gift. Our hope and aspiration is to provide Dana-Farber’s doctors and researchers the necessary resources to discover cures for all cancers.|
I had considered doing the breast cancer walk but I would much rather ride 150 miles then walk 90, especially while I still can. What I love about Pan Mass is that 100% of the proceeds go directly to the cause — there are no corporate hands in the pot. Also this race covers all cancers, and I have been touched recently by many different forms of cancer, not just breast cancer.
My oncologist asked me to join the Dana-Farber riding team, but I declined. I am riding with Susan C, who has become invaluable to me as a friend and a bike partner over the past few years. Susan asked me to take her biking a few years back when an injury stopped her from running. I begrudgingly agreed since up to that point, I was a solo-biker. I preferred to exercise alone, not wanting to bend to anyone’s time or speed. Susan took to biking immediately and quickly started mapping out long rides for us, anywhere from 30-60 miles at a pop. Without her I would still be riding my measly 15 miles. Susan was patient with me as I tried to pedal through chemo treatments, offering to do shorter rides and slowing down to accommodate my shaky muscles and palpitating heart. I would not even consider doing the Pan Mass without her.
I run many races that sponsor great causes but I have never had to actually raise money. So the tough part here is asking you all for donations. Both Susan and I need to raise $3400.00 a piece. We are committed to this amount and if we don’t raise it, we are obligated to pay the balance. This makes Susan very nervous but I told her that I would put this message out to all of you my friends and ask for help. The race is the first week in August which seems very far away, but I figured I would ask early so I can alleviate Susan’s fear and we can train with a clear head knowing that we have covered our butts.
I am riding not just for myself but in honor of my mom who died this year of colon cancer, my dad who died of complications from esophageal cancer, and my brother-in-law Bob who died of kidney cancer. I would be happy to add any of your loved ones to my list and bring their spirit with me on my ride. From what I understand it is an intense experience to ride with all these loving, caring people who are also carrying their loved ones in their hearts.
To the right of this post under My Links you can click on where it says “sponsor me for the Pan Mass challenge”. There are many ways to donate, and they walk you through it. My id# is FK0012.
Fantastic that you are riding the PMC. I, too, ride to honor others — as many as we can. It changes the experience for me tremendously, and the process of getting to know about the thrivers, survivors and angels in my friend’s lives brings us much, much closer together.
I look forward to the possibility of riding with you. And now, I’m quite sure that you’ll just ride up behind me and say “Hey there, I know you!”
Count me in, Fran! I will ride along with you in spirit, and monetarily, as my knees only allow me to rice on my exercise bike!
Your 2nd oldest sister,