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Why I PMC - Bart Boncaldo

Published Date:   July 20, 2023

Topic:   Why I PMC, #WHYIPMC, #PMC2023

#WhyIPMC guest blog by Bart Boncaldo, 1st-year Team Siena rider


I am very excited to ride in my first Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) this year with Team Siena. Team Siena has an annual golf outing which is their biggest fundraising event. Last year they raised over $160,000!

My reason for riding is in honor and support of 9 year old Alex Young, a close friend and cancer patient. I have known20160105_084246 (1) Alex since he was born as I had the honor of giving him his first haircut. Shortly after Alex’s 4th birthday, he started waking at night complaining of pains in his legs for about a month.  At first, his family thought they were growing pains.  Following this problem, he started having trouble walking and stumbling.  After many doctor visits to specialists, tests, and scans, he was diagnosed with high grade ependymoma gliomas of the spine. Alex has been battling cancer for the last 5 years. He has had three surgeries to remove tumors, two rounds of radiation treatments to his brain and spine, immunotherapy, IV Chemo weekly and for the past year has been on a regimen of several oral chemo medications daily.  Alex is seen at the Jimmy Fund Clinic every 3 weeks and has an MRI of his brain and spine every 8-10 weeks at Boston Children's Hospital.  Alex's most recent MRI’s have shown an aggressive increase in the size of two nodules on his spine that the doctors have been watching over the past year. They feel his current oral chemo regimen has run its efficacy.  A decision needs to be made as to where we go from here with treatment.  As of now there is no cure for Alex's cancer.  The goal is to slow the growth as much as possible and my goal is to help raise money to find a cure for Alex as well as all cancer patients. 


Alex recently participated in his Make-a-Wish event at which he had an amazing time.

Alex also participated in the PMC Kids Ride last year. Even though he did require a visit to the hospital the next day, he is ready to ride again! Alex is truly an amazing child. Meeting Alex for the first time you will be overwhelmed with his engaging personality, and you would never know the battle he fights each day. He is a beacon of light and the ambassador at both the Jimmy Fund Clinic and Boston Childrens hospital as he has a warm welcome and engages with all the new patients as well as the friends, he has made over the past 5 years. Recently he was asked to be in the new marketing brochure that the Make-a-Wish foundation is creating.20220918_082441
 I haven’t been able to ride for many years. In June I had my second hip replacement, and it came at the right time so I could help Alex and all cancer patients by participating and being a part of the PMC.20220815_081848
UPDATE: On May 25th, Alex had his 4th surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital.  He had another high B grade Glioma on his spine that his doctors have been watching for several months. Most recently this tumor had decided to rapidly start growing and with each MRI was consistently larger. It was successfully removed, and Alex is back on the road to recovery. His first stop from the hospital was to see me for a haircut!  He wanted to make sure he looked good for his first day back to school. Hopefully, he will be riding in the Kids PMC Ride on June 24th in Canton.

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