This year after watching and cheering on Shawn for the past 6 years I will finally pedal in my first PMC (192 miles). I always watched with goosebumps on my arms as the Bruins Foundation Team and 5,000 other riders would cross the finish line on the first day after 111 grueling miles. To my surprise they always had huge smiles on their faces even knowing they had to do it all over again the next day to the finish in P-Town. What I have learned after volunteering and following Shawn and his Bruins crew for so long from Sturbridge to Wareham to Bourne to Eastham to P-town is that there are over 5,000 riders of varying age, weight, fitness and athletic abilities…there are teenagers, new moms and dads, mid-lifers and some very peppy 60- 80 year olds who ride every year! I was always content to be the cheerleader but this year two fellow hockey moms and good friends (hockey moms rule!) said they wanted to ride and that was that – we were COMMITTED! These two women have inspired me in so many ways. Ellen is a two time breast cancer survivor and showed me that nothing and I mean nothing is going to hold her back! 6 months after her mastectomy she was about to start training for the PMC but because of health reasons will ride next summer instead. My training partner Natalie is a quiet strength on our long training rides. She is steady and committed to her goals. I look to her to tell me “WE GOT THIS!” when I feel like I can’t go any further and then I do! There are so many reasons and people to ride and donate for. We all know someone in our life who has been touched by cancer in some way or another whether directly or indirectly. Some stories have happy endings and some stories do not. We ride and donate to bring us closer as humans and communities who value each other. We ride and donate to make a difference in our neighbors or families and friends lives. We ride and donate because the alternative is too overwhelming to think about. I have learned a lot on this journey from the sidelines to the front line and that is that we all can make a difference! I found out that I am not a very strong rider (but each ride makes me stronger). I found out that mental toughness is just as important as physical strength when you are training for an endurance event. I have learned that it takes a village to get me to the finish line and it takes a village to stand up and fight for a cure. My first memory of the word cancer was when I was 5 years old and my brother Phil went to Mass General for a very big surgery to save his life. That was over 40 years ago and the treatments have come so far and the wealth of knowledge has exploded but we still need to ride and donate so that maybe we can overcome this disease as we have done with other insidious diseases. Together, let’s make the word cancer history! Please help me to reach my fundraising goal of $7,500.