They met because they were all cyclists, trainers and enjoyed working out. They bonded because of an energetic, loveable workout partner named Darius Dilmaghani.
When cancer took Darius’ life at just 40 years old, the friends and family he had made from the Boston Sports Club in Lynnfield wanted to do something to keep their friend’s memory alive.
They formed Team Darius, a first-year Pan-Massachusetts Challenge cycling team. The group of eight cyclists hopes to raise more than $37,000 for cancer care and research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. They are all members, trainers or employees of the Boston Sports Club in Lynnfield.
Darius, described by friends as a 6’3” gentle giant, was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his bile duct in December 2007. He got the news the day of the Boston Sports Club annual holiday party. But Darius went to the party and dismissed the news because he didn’t want it to ruin the party for the others.
Darius was born in Tabriz, Iran on March 25, 1969, son of Dr. Ahad Dilmaghani and the late Dr. Caroline Howe Dilmaghani. The family, including Darius and his two brothers, moved to the United States in 1979 when Darius was 10 years old. He graduated from Brookline High School in 1987. In 1991, Darius graduated with high honors from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He was a senior engineer at Keurig for 11 years.
After a nearly two-year long fight with cancer, Darius died in Aug. 2009.
In riding for Darius, team members will channel Darius’ courage, as he fought the illness bravely and with dignity. His teammates say Darius’ humor was untouched despite the disease and he had an uncanny way of making people forget any pity and sadness over his illness, but instead rejoice in the friendship they shared.
“We have lost a best friend, a loyal friend, a compassionate friend, a brilliant friend, and an inspirational friend,” they write. But they note that his memory will live on through the money they raise as PMC cyclists that will contribute to research and fund new treatments.
Team Darius is hosting a PMC fundraising dinner dance at the Mission Oak Grille, 26 Green St., Newburyport on Sept. 10. For information, contact email@example.com.