Why I PMC - Marissa Parent

Bill Alfano's picture
Bill Alfano

Why I PMC - Marissa Parent

Guest blog by Marissa Parent

The 2016 PMC is a special ride for my family. Fam including: my sister, Sarabeth, my dad, Mike and my fiancé, Andrew.  Why is 2016 so monumental?  Well here’s why, It will mark my dad's 20th ride(!!), Sarabeth’s very first ride and Andrew’s second attempt at an “official” finish.  Not to mention, this year, my dad can possibly reach $100,000 in his collective PMC fundraising.  Now that is a PMC commitment. 

My sister and I have grown up to celebrating the first weekend in August.  Whether we were cheering or now riding, it is a humbling, exciting and anticipated family tradition.  As a spectator in the past, I can remember making giant signs for my dad and heading into Boston to watch that party ferry come in.  I remember my dad’s giant grin seeing us there and I remember feeling so proud.  Year after year, I’d think “I’m going to do this!  One of these years, I’ll commit”. In early 2010, I had been graduated from college, working in NYC and feeling a little detached from home in Massachusetts. I had also recently lost a very dear friend far too early from bone cancer, which I will touch upon a little later.  Needless to say, all signs were pointing toward the PMC 2010.  After a few weeks of my dad peppering me with calls and emails, telling me, “this is it! this is the year!”, I signed up. And now, 6 years later, I can’t image NOT participating in the PMC.   The first couple years riding and training for the PMC cured my “detachment”, by my frequent trips home for long training rides with my dad and the team.  Since then, I’ve met and continue to meet amazing, inspiring people all with the same goal: to cure cancer once and for all. 

This year, we are riding for Team Precision for Kids.  Every dollar we raise will directly fund the research of Dr. Katie Janeway.  Dr. Janeway's focus is pediatric precision oncology and with our dollars she can test individual genes to better (and more efficiently) treat the child's cancer.  Our PMC Pedal Partner this year is Jack Burke, a rock star little boy battling Neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue, most commonly the brain and spinal cord.  Jack has recently finished up chemo treatments on a brain tumor. While the outcome of the treatment was positive, this is nowhere near the end of Jack’s fight until we find a cure. 

We are passionate toward this cancer treatment because we (along with family and many friends) suffered the loss of a vivacious, smart, amazing little girl, Meghan Duffy.  She had been diagnosed with cancer as an infant and the disease came back with vengeance at the young age of 9.  I was her childhood nanny and saw firsthand how the cancer affected her and everyone around her.  The PMC gives us an opportunity to DO something and actually make a difference in hopes cure children like Meghan and Jack faced with these horrible life threatening diseases.  We will ride alongside Meghan's incredible parents, Frank and Colleen, as well as the rest of our Precision Team. 

Since Meghan, our family has lost a few friends and family members to cancer and we'll ride until that's no longer the case.   

I'm incredibly proud of my dad for all he's done to fight cancer.  He has put in hours upon hours of training (although I’m 100% confident he's loved every second) and has fund-raised tirelessly.  Not only has he inspired me to ride, given such a physical feat, but he has giving me the ability to think I can make a difference. My dad and his bestie, Jack Fitz, or who I like to call “Vintage” Jack, have been riding for  20+ years and could basically write an unofficial PMC guide book.  Starting with 1. Underwear….NO! Which may seem trivial to most cyclists, but an extremely helpful tip for a novice rider and a first time PMCer!! They have turned the PMC weekend into a string of fun and meaningful little traditions for our team, making each leg of the ride exciting and anticipated.   

I'm also already so proud of my little sister, Sarabeth because i know how scary it can be to simply sign up.  I have no doubt she will be an amazing addition to our team.  She is tough, incredibly enthusiastic and has a smile that can melt hearts (and raise some serious dollars). Selfishly, I look forward to her "rookie mistakes"!! 

And lastly, my fiancé, or what I prefer to call him, my “Beyonce”, Andrew.  Andrew quickly learned how much the PMC meant to me and decided to commit last year.  Not entirely familiar with long endurance training and how to stay hydrated, he unfortunately suffered from severe dehydration after day 1 in Bourne.  The poor lil guy was fed THREE IV bags before he was allowed to leave the medical tent.  Instead of hopping on the next bus to P-town, Andrew volunteered the entire day 2 by restocking fuel stations all the way to the finish and still managed to be incredibly supportive and enthusiastic as the rest of our team was finishing.  I’m incredibly proud of him and even more so that it wasn’t even a discussion whether or not he would participate again this year.  He is determined and committed in all aspects of his life and has become my rock. 

If I didn’t mention the rest of my team, I’d be kicking myself.  “Vintage” Jack (of course), Sammy, LB, Katie, Queenie, Patrick, Mike C, I CANNOT wait for our jovial group (and my second family) to all get together and feed off of each other’s amazing energy and positivity.