This year I will be riding in my second PMC and I am proudly dedicating my ride to my two beautiful grandmothers, Nonni and Nana, who both lost their battles to cancer just two months apart in 2014. Their courage, strength and hope are my inspiration in all I do and achieve.
My admiration for the PMC started at a young age, as I witnessed countless heroes riding for a cure in the race through my summer vacation town of Onset. I always looked forward to the first weekend in August and loved cheering on the riders and loudly screaming "THANK YOU" to everyone as they peddled on by. I knew from a young age that someday this ride was something that I always wanted to be a part of.
Last year was my first PMC ride where I had the opportunity to pedal alongside amazing people who all had the same goal in mind. There were so many moments along the route that I was taken back by all the support - from supporters lining their streets cheering and clapping, to emotional posters hanging on houses and trees, to bands playing - these flyby memories are something that will be forever embedded in my memory as they brought immense, unforgettable emotions. I know that this year, working together with so many great dedicated people toward a very important common goal of helping others, will be exciting and rewarding once again.
Today, the Pan-Mass Challenge raises more money than any other athletic fundraising event in the country. The PMC generates more than 50% of the Jimmy Fund's annual revenue and it is Dana-Farber's single largest contributor. Over the past 36 years, PMC cyclists have ridden to raise and contribute $500 million to cancer research. I am very grateful to be riding once again for my grandmothers and all who have been affected by cancer.