Reflections from Katie, an 18 year old PMC rider.

Bill Alfano's picture
Bill Alfano

Reflections from Katie, an 18 year old PMC rider.

I have had the pleasure of interning with the Pan Mass Challenge organization every Thursday for the past few weeks. During this time, I have heard many of the different stories of riders and volunteers. Looking back on my first ride in 2011, I've come to realize that out of the 5300 people riding in the Pan Mass Challenge that year, I was one of a very small group who had not known someone afflicted with cancer. And yet, even without that motive to take part, the camaraderie, spirit and inspirational atmosphere of the PMC made me realize, within the first five minutes, that it was something I hoped to continue for many many years. This is one reflection of why I ride:

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was still early morning and already I had traveled forty hilly miles. It was proving to be one of those hot, humid New England days. The air was heavy and moist; I pushed hard to move through its thickness. Coldplay’s Viva la Vida played in the distance resonating above the spectators’ cheers. Another short but steady climb and we turned the corner into a rest stop welcomed by whistles, claps, cheers and shouts of “you did it.” And then I saw him, a young by with a shy smile and warm brown eyes. In one hand he held a small cowbell, which he shook to add to the celebratory din. Written on his neon green sign were two simple sentences. “Because of you I’m 6! Thank you for saving my life.” Even in the stifling heat, I felt goose bumps.

It was in moments like this, and others, that I realized that the PMC ride would be something I would continue for as long as I could. I lost a friend to cancer last year, and the PMC ride of 2012 became that much more important to me. I realize, as I am just 18, that it is my peers and I who will continue this ride in the future, because we are the next generation of the PMC. But, one can only hope that by the time I am 48, like my father with whom I ride, we won't need the PMC any longer to fund cancer research . But, in the mean time, I intend to keep up my training, recruit more freinds, and start my fundraising in preperation for another inspiring PMC ride in 2013.

Katie and her friend Taylor during the 2012 PMC.

Blog post courtesy of Katie Goldman