PMC jersey cruises into Key West

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Pan-Mass Challenge

PMC jersey cruises into Key West

Marcia Dana, 54, of Westford, brought her favorite PMC shirt during her annual spring trip to Key West, Florida with her girlfriends. "I like wearing it when I travel because you never know who you might run into that would recognize it," Dana says. The trip has become the start of Dana's training season.

1,600 miles from Massachusetts, Marcia rides in Key West

Dana has been riding in the PMC to raise money for cancer research since 2006 and has raised $50,000 to date. It's a cause that hits close to home. Dana's husband, Greg, has been living with cancer since Feb. 2009. He has a rare form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma called lymphomatoid granulomatosis and is being treated at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

What started as a group of women who happened to exercise at a local health club together, evolved into a coffee group, and from there a tightly-knit, core group of six women who have traveled closely together for the past 7 years. None of the other women ride with Dana in the PMC, however, they support her financially and emotionally. She was with the women in Key West when her husband received the confirmation of his cancer diagnosis. "It was then that my friends literally held me up," she says. "We cried together. Then, they set-up a plan to help. One of the women set-up a lotsahelpinghands website for me so people could arrange to help in various ways."