#WhyIPMC guest blog by Sandra Orangio, 1st-year rider, Team BMW
I lost my husband, Mario, two years ago to pancreatic cancer. He was the fire chief of the Watertown Fire Department for 13 years and served the department for 29.
His cancer was occupational. He was diagnosed Nov. 8, 2016, and died on Nov. 7, 2017 at the age of 51. My three daughters and I will forever suffer the loss of a wonderful husband and father. My partner in training for this event, Chief John J. Grant Jr. of the Milton Fire Department, also lost his wife and my friend, Josephine (Jo), at 58. We wanted to do something to honor them, and thought of no better way than to participate in the PMC. We started training in November 2019 and have been riding through these last few cold months.
After serving as the Watertown Fire Department fire chief for 13 years, and for the department for 29 years total, my husband, Mario, lost his fight to pancreatic cancer two years ago. The cancer he passed from was occupational, dying almost a year to the day of his diagnosis on Nov. 7, 2017. He died knowing the risks that came from serving a role he loved to do, and my three daughters and I will forever suffer from losing such a wonderful father, husband and human being.
One of our longtime friends, and my partner in training for this event, Chief John J. Grant Jr. of the Milton Fire Department, also lost his beloved wife and my friend, Josephine “Jo”, just seven months after Mario on June 7 to melanoma at 58. They had a daughter and two sons together, all of whom love her dearly. The two of us came together in our grief and decided we wanted to do something special to honor them for our families, and found the perfect outlet in the PMC. We've been training these last few cold months since November, and we're really excited to participate.