Barn Babies petting zoo returns to Watertown

The Boston Globe

West

By Cindy Cantrell |  GLOBE CORRESPONDENT   

 MAY 12, 2013

PEDAL PARTNERS: Eleven-year-old Olivia Bonfilio of Medfield, 10-year-old Ryan Keleher of Waltham, 4-year-old Nathan Hecker of Arlington, and 22-month-old Autumn Buxton of Fram­ingham will be recognized next Sunday at Fenway Park as “pedal partners” in the annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge fund-raising bike-a-thon for cancer research.

During the event, pedal partners and their families will meet the cyclists participating in their honor while enjoying games, activities, and brunch. The celebration marks the kick-off of the 2013 PMC Pedal Partner Program, which matches young cancer patients with teams of cyclists who will ride up to 190 miles across Massachusetts on Aug. 3-4.

More than 5,500 cyclists are expected to take part in the event this summer, and raise $38 million for adult and pediatric cancer care and research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and its Jimmy Fund Clinic.

Lauri Bonfilio said this is the third year that her daughter ­Olivia, who was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia in 2010, has participated in the PMC Pedal Partner Program. The fifth-grader completed her final chemotherapy treatment on May 2.

“These people put their heart and soul into riding for these kids they don’t even know,” said Bonfilio, noting that Olivia’s team — which has grown to a dozen cyclists — presented her last year with a much-cherished photo album chronicling their efforts in her honor from the time they met. “The team is like our second family. Their overwhelming and unconditional love has kept me going.”

For more information, visit www.pmc.org.