Social Action June 25, 2011

PMC 2011 – Still On the Road

by Barry P Chaiken, MD

Last year was filled with some happiness and some worry. While Beka’s mom is doing great, fighting and so far defeating her non-smoking lung cancer, my mom’s lifelong friend Miriam just began a difficult battle with pancreatic cancer. And a close friend, former rider, and longtime Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC) volunteer escaped a cancer scare with a cure after they removed a small chunk of skin from his chest. For all of these people and many more we do not know, we need to continue our fight to defeat cancer.

It’s been 27 years since cancer took my dad from me. He was such a brave man, always thinking positively and never complaining. A year after his death, in 1985, I rode my first PMC. The August 6-7 PMC is my 27th 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 $33,000,000 last year, reaching $303 mil. overall. I think we can do better. Economic 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.

Barry P. Chaiken

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