NECN profiles first year rider Joe Durand, who’s continuing his goal of riding in the 30th annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge despite losing his job.
Watch the NECN story here. Here’s Joe’s story:
Joe Durand was laid off from his job in publishing in December 2008.
Despite the grim economy, Durand signed up for the PMC two months after losing his job. He is riding the one-day Wellesley to Bourne route, which has a fundraising minimum of $3,000. He lives in Danvers with his wife and two children.
“When I signed up in February, it was a serious commitment, both financially and physically,” Durand says. “You have to have faith that you are going to raise the money regardless of the economic times, just like I have faith I’ll get through this unemployed period. We will survive this just as we have survived other things. You have to stay positive and hopeful that you will get through it and come out the other side.”
To raise the money, Joe is reaching out to north shore running clubs, which he joined since being laid off. There are races, he says, that do not require entry fees. He is going to suggest some institute optional entry fees that will be used as contributions to the PMC.
“What’s the worst that can happen?” Durand asks, reflecting on his unemployed status. “I’ll lose some material things? I have my family and friends, and we are all healthy. It’s at times like these that you realize what is important in life.”
Joe Durand will be riding with Team Maureen, which he has supported in the past. Team Maureen was founded by the family of Joe’s grade school buddy, Jim Duffey, who is a PMC cyclist and lives in Chicago. Maureen was Jim’s younger sister. Maureen, a wife and mother of two, died at age 37 from cervical cancer in 2006.
“You can’t give up or not commit to good things, just because you lose a job,” Durand says. “You must remain committed and hopeful. I have found hope in the least expected places and as long as your attitude is good, good things will come your way. It’s karma.”
Team Maureen was started by the youngest Duffey sibling, Eileen Duffy-Lind, who works as a pediatric oncology nurse at Dana-Farber. Duffey-Lind lives in West Falmouth. She is running a dodge ball tournament and auction as a fundraiser for Team Maureen on May 2 in Falmouth.