Thank you for considering a donation in support of my Pan Mass Challenge ride to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. This year marks my first of hopefully many (192 mile!!) PMC rides and I am ecstatic to be riding as a member of the Boston Bruins Foundation team.
Cancer is a relentless disease that has touched all of our lives in some way. Whether you have battled the disease personally or alongside a family member or friend, you know that the hope for a cure is one of the few things that keeps you fighting through the toughest of times.
My inspiration to ride is my dad, Bryan Shoemaker, who lost his battle with cancer on April 3, 2014.
My dad was diagnosed with stage IV, metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in August of 2009. At the time of his diagnosis, his doctors gave him a year or two to live, but he was determined not to be bound by that prognosis. Given that conventional treatments, such as chemo and radiation, were not expected to be 100% effective against this particular type of cancer, we put our faith in the researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and enrolled in a number of different trials. While I don’t know for sure what role those trial drugs played in extending my dad’s life (or whether the data gained throughout the trial might lead to a cure), I do know that having cutting edge treatment options that might rid him of the disease gave us an incredible sense of hope and perseverance.
There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t miss my dad and wonder what life would be like if he were still here; however, I couldn’t be more grateful for the extra time we were lucky enough to spend with him. While the profound sadness from our loss slowly eases over time, I pray that I never have to watch another loved one endure that suffering.
I firmly believe that, provided with sufficient resources, our medical community can cure this terrible disease, which is why I have joined the Boston Bruins Foundation’s effort to support Dana Farber through the Pan Mass Challenge. One hundred percent of every dollar you donate to my campaign will be used to support Dana Farber in turning the hope for a cure into a reality. Simply put, your donation will have a HUGE impact.
Thanks again for supporting my cause! I’ll see you at the finish line!