The PMC this year stood out from all the others. In the years past we have cheered on my mom and brother as they rode the long, hilly two-day ride from Welsley to Provincetown, MA. Standing at the finish line, cowbells in hand and tears always brimming in our eyes, we watched, cheered and thanked every rider as they rode in. Every single person there has been affected by cancer and is riding to raise money for cancer research at Dana-Farber in Boston.
Even though I do not know 99% of the faces riding by, it is impossible not to feel connected as you read their cycling jerseys, helmets and signs that bear the names of those who have survived and those who are remembered as they complete the 168 miles.
You can then imagine the weight and joy of this years ride as my husband, sister, sister’s boyfriend, aunt, uncle and parent’s friends all gathered in anticipation (and persistent cowbell-ing) of seeing my mom, brother and dad cycle across the finish line.
In Feb. of 2009, dad was diagnosed with a very rare non-Hodgkin lymphoma and the outlook was, to say the least, frightening and unknown. Fast-forward to August 2011 past the various other complications and second return of the cancer and you find a group of buzzing, joyful, teary-eyed, love-filled friends and family celebrating the gift of life as we finally see what we have been waiting (literally hours) for. They round the corner and my mom and dad’s friends, who are also riding, fade just slightly to the back to allow my mom, dad and brother to ride three across down the stretch to the finish.
-In all honesty, I almost just posted the photos, because even as I write words fail to really express this event and all that it meant to us.
To read more details about my family’s battle with cancer, my mom, my dad and brother’s have amazing stories on their Pan-Mass Challenge profiles that explain why they ride. If you would like, you are still able to donate to their rides even though the event has already happened.