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Ready to Ride Again for the PMC
Maybe it was wanting to take advantage of nicer weather, or get in better shape, see my old riding buddies, or just the desire to do a little bit of good, but I'll be back riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge this year after taking two years off.
Over the past couple of summers, I've had the chance to volunteer during the second day of the two-day cycling event to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and seeing first-hand the hard work so many put forth to make the ride a success.
The people. That's the biggest reason I decided to come
back this year, even with the stresses and time commitments
of multiple jobs cutting into training time. It's the thousands
of volunteers who fill water bottles, squeegee sunglasses and pump tires. It's the people who get up at ungodly hours on their Saturday or Sunday over the first weekend of August to cheer us all on.
And it's the people directly impacted by cancer who have seen this disease tear apart families and test even the strongest and most resolute among us.
I'm riding for all of them this year, particularly Hall of Fame football coach Ernie Richards. A veteran coach who won more than 200 games coaching primarily teams in the Blackstone Valley area, Richards passed away after a battle with cancer last month. He had lived 21 years after a heart attack nearly cut
his life short, and more than a decade longer than his doctors' prognosis after a bypass surgery in the late 1990s. But cancer does not discriminate when it comes to deciding who to afflict.
I'll miss seeing Mr. Richards (even though I was his son's best man at his wedding, I could never quite bring myself to call him Ernie), but he will be in my thoughts as I train through the summer and get ready to ride this August. So will the countless others who have, or are still fighting cancer.
In the past, I have been floored by the outpouring of generosity from Town Crier readers in supporting my ride. If you'd like to make a donation, please feel free to visit PMC.org/CV0042. I'd encourage all of you to donate to a rider. Every one of us out there has a story, a reason why we ride and a common bond formed by the desire to beat cancer, once and for all.




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