Team Patriots Platelet Pedalers Goes Beyond the Miles to Help Cancer Patients - How the New England Patriots Support the Pan-Mass Challenge

Bill Alfano's picture
Bill Alfano

Team Patriots Platelet Pedalers Goes Beyond the Miles to Help Cancer Patients - How the New England Patriots Support the Pan-Mass Challenge

As Team Patriots Platelet Pedalers wraps up their 2014 Pan-Mass Challenge season, the New England Patriots have started their quest for another Championship.  

Team Patriots Platelet Pedalers, the largest PMC team of cyclists sponsored by the New England Patriots, is more focused than ever on reaching its $800,000 fundraising goal for the 35th Pan-Mass Challenge. Founded in 2007, the team has since grown 125 members strong and with support from the Kraft Family and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation has raised more than $4.4 million for cause.  

What distinguishes this group of riders from other PMC teams is they not only donate their time and energy to ride and raise money for the annual bike-a-thon but also their platelets. The funds they raise are earmarked for the work of Dr. Ken Anderson, the Kraft Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, to support his multiple myeloma research and development of novel therapies.  

The platelets they donate help patients with weakened immune systems that are undergoing chemotherapy. During a platelet donation, a small portion of the donor’s blood is drawn from the arm and passed through a sophisticated cell-separating machine. The machine collects the platelets and safely returns the remaining blood components, along with some saline, back to the donor. This process is repeated for the better part of 60-180 minutes or more until the donation is complete.  One donation can provide enough platelets for a full therapeutic dose for a patient in need. Team Patriots Platelet Pedalers boasts several members who have made more than 100 to 500 donations. 

“Chemotherapy depletes platelets which are critical for blood clotting and can cause serious issues during cancer treatment,” says Brodsky.  “The platelets that are “harvested” from donors like those on the Patriots Platelet Pedalers are typically back doing their magic in cancer patients within a day of the donation.” 

Although completing the two-day 190-mile route as a group was challenging in the rain, nothing compares to the battles cancer patients face according to Brodsky. Each member of Team Patriots Platelet Pedalers rides and raises money in honor of cancer survivors, patients and loved ones young and old lost to the disease. 

“The Patriots Platelet Pedalers ride year after year in the PMC because we are a dedicated group who want to give back,” says Brodsky.  “The fundraising, training, aches and pains are nothing compared to living with or dying from cancer.  We RIDE BECAUSE WE CAN!  Just a mere 10 years ago, a patient diagnosed with multiple myeloma had a very bleak outlook and was almost certain to lose the battle in a short time.  With the help of the team and the critical dollars we have raised, Dr. Anderson and his team of researchers have brought eight new drugs to market and more are on the horizon.  We are nearing the time when multiple myeloma will be considered a chronic cancer and patients will live with it and not die from it!”   

For PMCers and Pats fans alike, Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights are reserved for football viewing for the next six months. On practice days and bye weeks, you can help to make a difference for cancer patients worldwide by joining Team Patriots Platelet Pedalers in its mission to help end blood and bone cancers.  

September is National Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month. To donate platelets please reach out to the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at 617-632-3206.  

To learn more about the Pan-Mass Challenge, or to support Team Patriots Platelet Pedalers or another PMC team or cyclist, visit Donations will help the PMC reach its $40 million goal, which will bring the PMC’s 35-year gift to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund to $454 million.

Team Patriots Platelet Pedalers pose at the Mass Maritime Academy at the completion of day one of the 35th Pan-Mass Challenge.

Post courtesy of Allison at Teak Media + Communication