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Why I PMC - Patty McCaffrey

Published Date:   June 11, 2024

Topic:   Why I PMC, #WHYIPMC, #OneInABillion, #PMC2024

#WhyIPMC guest blog by Patty McCaffrey, 12-year rider & volunteer

WHY I RIDEWhitinsville

My husband, Michael, was treated at Dana-Farber for bladder cancer. He received top notch care which extended to our nuclear family, even after he had died. I made a commitment at that time that I would always support Dana-Farber for as long as I could. I didn’t want another family to endure the loss we experienced. That was 16 years ago.

Early on, my son was running on the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) team. In 2011, he coerced me into running the Boston Marathon as part of the DFMC team. Running was not my sport (I had never run a road race and I was over 50), but I signed up and ran, knowing it was a way I could give back. Ultimately, I ran four Bostons before joyfully hanging up my running shoes.

During this time, I was volunteering for the PMC, loading luggage in Sturbridge. I had such FOMO watching the riders depart from the starting line, but also knew that the fundraising commitment was steep… and I was afraid of those clip-in shoes. My friend, Dana, would send me the videos of the PMC sporadically. Finally, three years ago, I took the plunge. I bought a real road bike, conquered the clip-in shoes with the help of a very patient friend, and prayed I would be able to raise the funds. I signed up for the PMC thinking it was a bucket list event – a one and done type of thing.

My son, Ryan, joined me on the ride. He has a very competitive nature, but as the PMC is a ride (not a race), he stayed with me and we rode the 192 miles together. WE HAD A BLAST! It was tough, humbling, yet one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. All along the way, people were cheering us on and thanking us for giving them a chance. The kids holding posters saying I’m 15, 16, 17, 18 BECAUSE OF YOU captivated my heart. I was hooked.IMG_5656

I’m 65 now, and Ryan and I will ride our third PMC together this August from Sturbridge to Provincetown. I’m riding in memory of all those who have battled cancer and lost, those that have won, and those who will face a battle. We NEED to figure this out and research is the only way we will get close and give us HOPE.

I’ve started a little business that sells dog treats, “Mrs. Mac’s Doggie Snacks,” to help augment my fundraising commitment, with all the funds going to the PMC. For me, this is a year-long event and I couldn’t be prouder. I will continue to ride until I can’t anymore so we can reach the ultimate finish line: a world without cancer.Easthampton 7 16 22


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