Barry Davis has been part of the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge for a long time. He’ll be riding for the 27th time this summer.
Every year he has his routine for fundraising. But last week, something unusual happened.
Here’s Barry’s story that reminds us all why we pedal, train, and fundraise to support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
It’s 11:30 am on Saturday May 23 and I am about to conclude my spare change fund raiser at my local Dunkin Donuts. It’s the kind of fund raiser where I pedal my bike on a trainer and encourage customers of a store to make a donation to the Jimmy Fund by dropping the change from their purchase into a jug.
At the Dudley, Ma Dunkin Donuts, they also have a drive thru, so I’m outside pedaling along the drive-thru and a video that I produced is playing on my laptop inside.
I enter the store to take a few pictures of my setup inside when a woman in her late 20’s approaches me, in tears, asking if she could hug me. A bit stunned, I said ok. She thanks me for caring so much for doing what I am doing for people with cancer. She then said that she was a cancer survivor, just recently completing a round of chemo therapy for a rare form of cancer called angio sarcoma. Her primary care was performed at the Dana Farber by Dr. Jeffrey Morgan and staff where she learned about the PMC and the work that money we raise does in the fight against cancer.
While undergoing treatment at Dana Farber, she told her care givers that she wished she could find someone with the PMC to thank. That thank you, via a hug, came to me. But I accept it on behalf of every other PMC’er.
For 27 years I have been part of the PMC. As with everyone else associated with the PMC, I have stories about loved ones lost to cancer. But today, I re-discovered the meaning of “This is why we ride”. We ride for people like Shannon Flitcher of Dudley who has fought and so far won her battle against cancer.
We of course memorialize the loved ones that are no longer with us. But more importantly, we ride the PMC because our money does make a difference when it comes to those afflicted with this horrible and many faced disease. It is for people like Shannon that we work hard to raise as much money for the Jimmy Fund and then train hard to ride the event.
Remember these people, like my Shannon, that reap the benefits of our hard work. Use their inspiration to motivate yourself. I know Shannon’s inspiration has re-energized my efforts for the Jimmy Fund.