In 2007, shortly after losing my dad to a seven-year battle against prostate cancer and witnessing my mother’s diagnosis and subsequent triumph over breast cancer, I was introduced to Billy Starr of The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC). The PMC is the nation’s original fundraising bike-a-thon and the most successful athletic charity fundraiser in America. In 30 years, they have raised more than half a billion dollars.
It was a cause close to my heart then, and it’s a cause close to my heart now. The fact that 100% of every rider-raised dollar goes directly to cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund is reason enough to get involved. The fact that proceeds have funded research that has made appreciable difference in people’s lives—from increased life expectancy to quality of life—made it in an imperative. The year after I met Billy, I started riding.
The PMC was my therapy.
My first ride in 2008 was life changing. Over two days I rode 192 miles along the back roads of Massachusetts as individuals, families and even whole neighborhoods cheered us on with cowbells and blow horns. At times it felt like the finish line was across the country. Overwhelming moments of tears and exhaustion would come and go, but the second you see signs that read, “Thank you for saving my life” or “I’m 6, 7, 8, 9 because of you,” you’re reminded how important this cause is. To witness, first-hand, the impact my training and fundraising had on so many lives was an experience unlike anything else. At the end of Day Two life seems simple. You feel the community around you. You appreciate what you have. You appreciate life itself.
That is the PMC experience.
In the nine years since my first ride and many more since, I’ve observed one of PMC’s biggest challenges. Despite adding additional bike routes, they have reached capacity—making it increasingly difficult to raise more money. In an effort to face this challenge head-on the PMC has launched a creative way to keep growing by introducing “The Resolution by PMC” in 2015. The Resolution by PMC is a stationary bike-a-thon held in January and themed in-line with a New Year’s resolution commitment.
Anyone that participated last year will be excited to hear that the event is being held again on January 27th-28th at EverybodyFights in Boston’s Seaport district. With some modest year-over-year growth, the event is still in its infancy and needs a big amplifier. With that, I’m proud to announce that Breakaway has officially partnered with the PMC as a lead sponsor of The Resolution by PMC!
In addition to contributing over $100,000 in cash and marketing services, our agency goal will help strategically position the PMC to enhance exposure, secure additional riders, build new relationships throughout the Boston area, and spread over-all awareness of the PMC mission. We are all incredibly excited to start this work, leverage technology to migrate the PMC from city-to-city, state-to-state, and hopefully build as strong a community nationally that we have here in the Northeast— the hope of finding a cure uniting us all.
Personally, this is one of those rare moments when you get the chance to express and act on deep feelings of commitment and determination to end cancer. It’s also an opportunity to express feelings of sincere appreciation to the team at Breakaway who are committing to join this cause.
So thank you, Breakaway, and thank you, PMC.
Chances are you or someone you know has been touched by cancer. If you are so inclined, we’d encourage you to volunteer or ride in one of the PMC’s events and any support towards Breakaway’s team efforts are appreciated.