I just completed my 2 day Pan-Mass Challenge, a 193 mile ride that raises money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Jimmy Fund) here in Boston. It is the single largest athletic fund-raising event in the world, raising more than $250 million dollars over the past 30 years. Below is my letter to my friends and colleagues. Please consider supporting me in this effort to eliminate cancer at www.pmc.chaiken.com. (UPDATE: Link to PMC Photos 2009.)
Carol’s gone. Just like Eddie, she could not beat the disease away. She was courageous until the end. She spent her last days in her home in Texas with many of her close friends visiting the weeks before she died. Everyone had a chance to say goodbye.
It’s been 25 years since my dad succumbed to cancer. He was brave too, never showing fear. A year after his death, in 1985, I rode my first PMC. The August 1-2 PMC is my 25th ride and one I am looking forward to as much as any of them. The PMC is my opportunity to engage in the fight against cancer while honoring my dad. I sure wish he was here to watch.
Over these years, I rode for friends, colleagues, and people I did not know. I hoped to offer them hope and comfort through my connection to the wonderful PMC family. Perhaps the knowledge that over 6,000 riders and volunteers really cared provided them with a bit of help as they went through one more day fighting cancer. This fight will forever be personal. It has touched my family too hard to ever be forgotten.
Thank you for being part of my PMC family and supporting me now and in years past. Without you, this ride is just 193 miles long. With you, it is a crusade, that we are winning, against a disease that hurts too many of us. Please consider boldly investing in the miracles that are unfolding today. Every single dollar (100%) of your PMC donation fights cancer. We raised more than $35,000,000 last year. I think we can do better. Times may be tough for us, but times are tougher for those who are fighting cancer. I need you, and those looking for hope need you.
See you on the road.