Why I PMC - The Galluzzo Family
Why I PMC - The Galluzzo Family
A contagious endeavor…
Guest Blog by Amy Galluzzo
The Galluzzo family has amassed some pretty impressive stats - 3 generations of active participants, 20 volunteer years, 109 PMC rides (2 day and kids rides), 19,800+course miles ridden, 70,000+ training miles, $488,000 (and growing!) dollars raised for the benefit of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Five members have ridden 10 years or more; one member with 19 rides and the “patriarch” of the family team, 24 consecutive years!
To give you small picture of this family, the parents, Anthony Sr. and Betty, came from Italy and were blessed with eight children (Joe, Anthony Jr. [Tony], Janice, David, John, Marianne, Linda and Carol), 26 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. Joe and Tony are the oldest sons and both happen to be cancer survivors and benefactors of the life giving care provided by Dana Farber. In 2012, the Galluzzo family was honored at the opening ceremony of the PMC.
By marriage and birth, it has grown to a family “team” of seventeen - 13 riders & 4 volunteers -a team of brothers, sister, sister and brother in-laws, sons, wives, daughters, nieces, nephews, and grandkids, and each year the family cheerleaders, spanning 4 generations, greet and support us at Mass Maritime Academy and Provincetown Family Finish.
It all began 24 years ago –a single rider joining an endeavor in memory of his father, who had lost his battle with cancer. Bill Hamilton, who would marry Carol Galluzzo, rode his first PMC in 1990, and began recruiting almost immediately. Soon, John Galluzzo joined him, followed by John’s wife Kim and his older brother, Tony Jr. The “next” generation began arriving in 2002 (shortly after Tony Jr had defeated his foe, his first battle with stage 4 nasal pharyngeal cancer) with Tony Jr’s four sons, Anthony III, Matt, Mike & Dominic, his daughter Kim, his nephew, Brian, and Brian’s wife Jenn. Shortly after his 2nd battle with cancer, Tony’s older brother, Joe, he too a stage 4 nasal pharyngeal cancer survivor, joined the team followed by his nephew William (PMC Kids Ride), daughter Amy, and his 2 grandchildren, Tessa and Joseph.
Why so contagious? Why ride or volunteer? Why so much enthusiasm and support? Each family participant or cheerleader may have different reasons.
Billy Hamilton (the “patriarch”) is Carol’s husband and Tony and Joe’s brother-in-law. This year, 2015, marks his 25th consecutive year riding in the PMC. To date, he has raised $110,000 for the fight against cancer and has been a heavy hitter at least fourteen times. His dad would become his inspiration to ride. He passed away his junior year in college after a courageous battle with cancer. He was only 47 years young, and is sorely missed to this day. After graduating college, Billy learned of the PMC through a brochure in a local bike shop. This was his chance to combine his love for cycling with his passion to fight cancer. He hasn’t looked back. He understands that he’s accomplished a lot, but knows there’s still so much more to do. In 2012, he was honored to ride alongside is his two amazing brother-in-laws, Tony and Joe. He’s made the commitment to the PMC, it’s in his DNA, and looks forward to spending the first weekend in August with his PMC family and friends each and every year.
Anthony III ‘Ant’, is Tony’s eldest son. He will be a thirteen year veteran in 2015, has been a heavy hitter twice and has raised $52,816 to date. He started riding alongside his dad, Tony Jr, in 2002 when he was just fifteen years old because his father wanted to give back to Dana Farber for all that they had done for him through his diagnosis and treatment. In 2004, when the cancer came back for Tony Jr, he delayed treatment so that he could ride in the PMC again that year. Because of the amazing care and treatment at Dana Farber, Tony Jr survived cancer a second time but has since been unable to participate in the PMC. Ant continues to ride to give back to Dana Farber for all that they have done for the Galluzzo family, with the hope that the PMC family can make cancer a thing of the past. Every year he goes into PMC weekend thinking, “Man, I should’ve trained harder for this!”. But that never seems to matter, because of the motivation and inspiration that he gets from his dad, his uncle Joe, and all of the other cancer survivors out there riding and lining the route with cheers. That’s what helps him to keep pedaling for a cure.
Matt is an eleven year veteran of the PMC and Tony’s son. In his eleven years, he has been a heavy hitter once and raised $43,530. The PMC and DFCI have done so much for the Galluzzo family but there is still so much more to do. The PMC has changed his life in many ways. But the most profound is being a part of a group that is focused on one goal – to rid the world of cancer. It is his favorite weekend of the year, where he gets to spend quality time with family and friends.
Brian, Tony’s nephew and Joe’s son, is a nine year veteran. He has hit a heavy hitter status six times and has raised $61,652.85 to date. His mission is simple. He rides for everyone afflicted and impacted by cancer. This 192 mile bike-a-thon weekend gives him a chance to spend time with his family and friends. The PMC has empowered him to give hope and make a difference. However, every year he is reminded how much he dislikes cycling. Maybe it’s the shorts?
Mike is a seven year veteran of the PMC and another of Tony’s sons. So far to date, he has raised $32,619 and has been a heavy hitter twice. To him, the PMC is such an important event because of the unrestricted funding it provides for Dana Farber, which gives researchers the opportunity to pursue novel research paths which government funding may restrict. Dana Farber provided treatments for his dad, which is a big reason why Tony is with us today, along with his incredibly strong will power and support from Tony’s wife, Donna, and the rest of his family. Because of Tony, and the fact that Mike has been given the gift of being healthy, he owes it to ride and make a contribution to the PMC family.
Dominic is a five time PMCer and the youngest of Tony’s sons. To date, he has raised $17,920. He rides for his dad, and everyone that he knows that who is fighting cancer or has had cancer in their past. He owes a lot of gratitude to Dana Farber- they saved his dad’s life twice and his uncle’s once. They do amazing work through their research, care, and treatment of patients. PMC weekend is something that he looks forward to every year. He gets to spend time with his family and make new friends, as it is such a moving weekend.
Anthony Jr., or simply Tony, is a two time cancer survivor. He participated in the PMC three times, but was sidelined after his second round of chemo and radiation. He raised thousands of dollars during his rides, and has helped his four sons reach their fundraising goal in the last 10+ years. After undergoing cancer treatments twice, his spirit and faith has not dwindled. He has, and continues to support his sons, nephew, niece, brothers, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law in this grueling two day weekend in August. In 2012, given an honorary registration by PMC, he rode the last two miles of the ride and crossed the family finish line in Provincetown with his sons, brothers, brother-in-law and nephew. Words cannot describe the enormity of this endeavor. It was certainly an amazing feat to watch, and his way of sticking it to cancer.
Joe, who is a cancer survivor, Tony’s brother and the oldest of the Galluzzo tribe, is a three year PMC veteran. To date, he has raised $15,771 for DFCI. PMC means a lot to him. He’s paying back what DFCI did for him through his cancer treatment and recovery and because he simply can. The PMC family has shown him the selfless love that exists in all people regardless of religious belief, race, age, physical ability or size. He remains firm on the fact that bikes really do fight cancer.
Amy is a first time rider in 2015. She is Joe’s daughter and Tony’s niece. After sitting on the sidelines at Bourne and Provincetown for years she realized- hey, I can do this. Who doesn’t want to end cancer? The reason why she rides is quite simple – her uncle, Tony, and her father, Joe. Without the fundraising efforts by the PMC they may not be here today, as well as countless others. A simple ‘thank you’ just didn’t seem fitting. It was time for her to pay it forward, hop on a bike, and ride amongst her family and friends. And not to mention that her 60 year old cancer surviving father called her out on it.
The Galluzzo girls have been volunteers for some time now. Kimmy and Gianna are Tony’s daughters’, and Jenn is Brian’s wife. Combined they have volunteered for twelve years and have had different duties- from working the family finish, face painting, arts and crafts, and their favorite – kitchen duty! Some of their favorite duties include supporting the families and friends of riders at Bourne and Provincetown. Kimmy and Gianna love seeing their brothers, uncles, aunt, and cousins coming in at Bourne and Provincetown. It’s a great way to spend time with family, meet new people, experience new things, and give back to Dana Farber for all that they have done for their dad and uncle. Jenn is fortunate to experience and share this event with her ‘new’ family. She loves seeing the big, and little, kids show their support and immense pride for the riders that have tried so hard to raise money for the cause, as well as completing their own personal challenge.
The PMC Kids
William Hamilton, who is now fourteen years old, was the first PMC Kid of the Galluzzo family. He started around 2006 and rode alongside his dad, Billy, for three years at the Topsfield, MA location. In those three years he amassed a total of over $400 for the fight against cancer.
Tessa, seven, and Joseph ‘Joey’, four, Borgatti are Joe’s grandchildren. They have participated in the PMC kids ride in Newburyport and rode alongside their Papoo. Together they have successfully participated and completed three PMC Kids Rides and have raised over $500 to date!
Why we ride
But ultimately, it boils down to one common goal, to be part of the endeavor that will eventually eradicate cancer, and until that day occurs contribute to the development of new treatments and new care to minimize the pain and suffering of those stricken by the disease.
This family is extremely fortunate and blessed, they have one endeavor - to pay it forward (and they are!). The amount of money that they have raised is truly remarkable, a testament to the family, friends and business associates that consistently donate year after year. Because of the PMC and DFCI, two brothers are alive today. And because of this simple idea to get on a bike to rid the world of cancer, millions of people can wake up and kiss and/or call their loved ones and say ‘good morning’. So thank you Billy Starr, PMC, DFCI, the Jimmy Fund, and to the countless numbers of riders, volunteers and donors! We ARE getting closer by the mile.
The Galluzzo family crossing the family finish in Provincetown 2012; Anthony Jr. ‘Tony’ in the lead
They did it together! PMC Family finish 2012 From L-R: Bill Hamilton, Brian Galluzzo, Joe Galluzzo, Dominic Galluzzo, Matt Galluzzo, Anthony ‘Tony’ Galluzzo JR., Mike Galluzzo, Anthony Galluzzo III, John Galluzzo