After losing his mother and father-in-law to cancer, T.J. Dyer wanted to do something to help in the fight against cancer. In 2006 he went to his friend David Christmas, PMC Team Lick Cancer captain, and said, “I can’t ride a bike, but what can I do to help?”
Christmas asked Dyer to drive the team bus, an old yellow school bus. Ever since, Dyer has been dropping the 45 team members off in Sturbridge and picking them up in Boston at the end of the weekend. He dedicates his weekend to driving hundreds of miles to bring his team to the starting line, pick them up after the ferry ride to Boston, and load and unload their bicycles and equipment.
Dyer went to pick his team up at Black Falcon Pier in Boston and witnessed the reason people are involved in the PMC. “When you see the people coming off the ferries and in the crowd holding signs, women and children wearing bandanas, you know why you are there,” said Dyer. “It’s very emotional.”
Each year more than 3,000 volunteers serve meals, repair bikes, pass out water, and do anything and everything to help the riders make it the 190 miles across Massachusetts.
Dyer created a series of videos for Team Lick Cancer members about why they ride. The idea went one step further when Team Lick Cancer met their pedal partner, Charlotte O’Shea.
With the help of the Acton public access television studio, Dyer directed and produced a 14 min. 30 sec. video entitled For Charlotte.
“There is a reason everyone individually got involved with the PMC, but as a team we have a story,” Dyer said. “There is a little girl in Bolton who needs help.”
As Charlotte explains in the last line of the video she is “six years old and has cancer.” More specifically, Charlotte has Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (AT/RT).
“AT/RT is a rare cancer and so there is not a lot of money being spent on researching its treatment or cures,” Dyer said. That is why Team Lick Cancer is restricting in the funds it raises in the 2010 PMC for AT/RT research.
Team Lick Cancer has raised more than $600,000 since 2005. This year the 45 team members and numerous volunteers have a goal of $200,000.
Along with, For Charlotte, Dyer created a series of one- to two-minute videos for his team members to share their individual reasons for riding the PMC. The video messages offer a new and personal way for riders to solicit donations.
Dyer’s videos can be seen on the Acton public access television station and on the Team Lick Cancer website.