The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) today announced at a sold-out event in Boston on Saturday, November 11, 2017, a record-breaking gift of $51 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at the world-renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, exceeding the goal by $3 million. With this gift, the PMC has brought its fundraising total to $598 million since its inception in 1980.
I started riding in the PMC ten years ago to get fit and keep a friend company. When you ride in the PMC once, you realize it’s far bigger than just you: everyone there, the riders, the volunteers, the people and whole towns lining the streets, the inspiring stories of the fights of survivors and the drumbeat of the names of those who’ve passed.
The PMC Kids Rides program, presented by Yawkey Foundations, began in 2005 as a way to include young cyclists in the Pan-Mass Challenge mission. The program engages youth in philanthropy and instills the value of working for the benefit of others, while bringing the PMC and its mission to the next generation.
Little did my sister know that her vision to finish college and manage her family’s bike shop would later help her brother, her family, thousands of cyclists and of course the PMC and its mission to cure cancer. This story is not about why I PMC. It’s about why we, the Farina Family, PMC.
I first started riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge in 1997. I was riding to support one of my best friends and roommate at the time, whose father had died of cancer earlier that year. I had not ridden a bike in about 10 years and the bike I had was 5 years older than that. I honestly did not know much about the PMC in 1997, but looking back at it, I quickly realized that that the PMC Weekend was about one thing: People!