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Why We PMC - Denise & Mike Casey

Published Date:   July 25, 2022

Topic:   Why I PMC, #WHYIPMC, PMC 2022

#WhyIPMC guest blog by Denise, 5-year rider, Team MG and Mike, 5-year rider, Team Fear Nothing Casey

Denise’s PMC “Why I PMC:
Why I ride?
My journey to the PMC began about 16 years ago. My dad was diagnosed with advanced stage EsophagealIMG_4833 cancer and passed away ten months after his diagnosis. To say that was quick is an understatement. It was a very difficult year for myself and my family as anyone could imagine. The moment I decided to ride the PMC was when I was pushing my dad across the Bridge at the Brigham on the way back to Dana-Farber for another routine appointment. I saw a wall mural with a sea of bikers all with smiles and some with tears on their faces all taking part in a large effort to raise money for a cure! Knowing full well that my Dad’s treatment was palliative I still had the hope and dream he would continue to push through. I knew at that moment I needed to do this for him, my family and the number of others who are fighting this courageous battle with Cancer. This was one way I can give back.
I am now on my fifth year riding the PMC and what an amazing experience it has been! The ride itself IMG_4843is beautiful, serene and therapeutic all at the same time. The other riders and volunteers were the most caring, friendly and amazing individuals I have met. The people cheering on the streets were impressive, wonderful and a great motivator to keep you going and reminding you why you are out there raising money for this amazing cause. To be part of a cause that touches so many lives and the impact these dollars have on the advancement in cancer treatment is exceptional and that is why I continue riding!
I am riding again to give back to Dana-Farber to help raise money to beat Cancer.
I ride to one day give the opportunity for other families never to lose their family members to this disease.
I ride to show the courage, strength, fortitude and compassion of each individual facing this monumental battle of their lives.
Please consider donating to my cause..Together we can all make a difference in the lives of patients and families dealing with Cancer.
 Mike’s PMC “Why I PMC”:
Why I ride... There are so many reasons. A decade and a half of professional exposure to this disease has taught a great deal of lessons. The longer I work in cancer care, and through my annual PMC ride, there is oneIMG_4841 resounding truth I have learned- cancer touches us all in one way or another. Whether it be a father, mother, wife, friend, young parent you know in town, we are all exposed to cancer repeatedly in our lives. Although nothing can prepare one for how to react when challenged face to face, I have learned action is better than inaction, empowerment better than feeling powerless in the face of adversity. 
I ride because I can. I ride because of the thousands of faces I get to see every year on the side of the roads of Massachusetts. These faces see hope in this ride. These faces from every walk of life see a mission to better the lives of those who have cancer and those who love(d) someone with cancer. We ride and you donate because we always believe we can do something, we can learn something through painstaking research, we can have better time no matter how long that may be, and we can rid more people we love of this disease tomorrow than we could yesterday... 
Having lost my Dad to cancer last year, the journey with this disease is never far from my mind. Spending a IMG_4825career trying to help those contending with cancer only to have it strike so close to home was rather surreal. But not unique. And yet, going to work to be present with patients remains a defining event in my every day. I will never cease to be amazed by the courage cancer requires, and provokes.
Through the years, I have held the hands of patients who have passed but for whom I miss each in their own way. Still, others have entered into their cancer experience - some very young, and others who expected to be spending their middle adulthood chasing grandchildren. Why I ride, for me, continues each and every year to be an opportunity to stand up to cancer. It is an opportunity for me to ask others to help out, a little bit here, a little bit there, all pulling in the direction of a better tomorrow.
Like so many others, my family is now like so many others who have been touched by this disease. However, it is the cancer experience that drove the creativity and tenacity necessary in the creation of the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC). Coming to life more than 40 years ago, this annual ride involves a commitment to capture the immense human capital of all those touched by cancer in the drive to ask for help and provide the means to get answers to how we get closer to a better tomorrow. It is this fundraising that drives life saving and life improving research. It is this commitment and participation in something larger than ourselves that brings myself and thousands of other riders forward each and every year. And it is this commitment to support which provides all of you with the same fulfillment... Action is better than inaction...
This year I ride to honor all those who have touched my life- family, friends and patients alike. I will always, asIMG_4835 long as I am able, ride for my current patients who cannot. And I will always ride for my patients who have passed- how I still think of them and all of their strength and grace offered in the midst of the most human of struggles.
So many of us continue our fight in our quest to ease the burden of cancer for all. The voices who have passed on from this life continue to express their experience in our memories. We must never stop seeking and searching for answers of how to care for patients and loved ones as it is our common humanity we share that unites us in this quest to ease the burdens of cancer on us all.
For those of us who remain- wives, sisters, brothers, daughters, grandchildren, significant others, friends, caregivers- seeking to do something more, join me with your support.
PMC weekend stands for the promise for a better future in cancer care.
I will be thinking of my Dad as I ride again this year. It will be nice to be with him in that way. Please consider joining all of the riders and volunteers committed to this cause. As the saying goes, there is a lot riding on us.
I'm a proud supporter of the PMC because it is leading a charge to beat cancer. Last year, like every year, 100% of rider-raised revenue went directly to support the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's tireless commitment to finding a cure. IMG_4820


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