Every year over 5,500 cyclists gather from all over the country for the annual Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) bike-a-thon. The PMC has raised over $414 million for adult and pediatric cancer care and research since 1980. 100 percent of the funds raised by riders is donated directly to the cause and amounts to over 50 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue.
This year’s PMC was held this past weekend, August 2nd and 3rd. Princeton Properties’ President, Terry Flahive, is a veteran rider and this year marked his sixth PMC. Terry rode the two-day route, which covers 192 miles and runs through 46 towns across Massachusetts. The cold, wet and slippery road conditions on Saturday made this year one of the most challenging PMC rides in history.
“This year, even more than the last five that I have ridden, seemed more important, meaningful, and unforgettable” Terry said. “I was really chilled and my hands had stopped working. I couldn’t use my fingers to shift gears and I had to get someone help me finally take off my helmet strap!”
As if to put the whole ride into perspective, a cyclist passed Terry and said, “Tough day today, but better than a day of chemo.” Like Terry, thousands of riders, were committed to riding as long as it took, knowing that their efforts were helping to make a difference.
Every year Terry rides for a ‘pedal partner’ – a child currently receiving treatment at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. This year Terry is riding for Jack, a two year old who is fighting for his life (pictured above with his parents and older sister). They cheered Terry on along the route and provided support early Sunday morning.
“Every time I looked at Jack, all I could think of was how lucky I am to have three healthy grand kids and how hard it would be to have one as sick as Jack” Terry said.“Then, there were so many survivors and doctors and nurses out there with me, riding with all their strength to provide more money for more research. We know that with every little break through, someone is living a better life.”
Cyclists put their physical, mental and emotional energy to the test, using their combined strength to bring researchers closer to finding cures for various types of cancer. The 2014 PMC has currently raised just under $30 million of their $40 million goal.