The Bicknell and Carbone families of Marshfield are lean-mean-fundraising machines.
Collectively, the three generations of family have been riding and raising money in the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge for 26 years bringing in $998,632 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund.
It all started in 1986 with Len and Dolly Bicknell. The adventure exercise enthusiasts were looking for a fun fitness challenge and stumbled upon a flyer for the PMC. They arrived to cycle 190-miles in running shoes, gym shorts, secondhand helmets and tired bikes (they didn’t make that mistake the following year).
While on the road, they learned hundreds of cancer survivor stories and were inspired by the real meaning behind the PMC. The following year, Dolly lost her father to prostate cancer and each year after that they learned of a new friend and loved one who was diagnosed with the disease.
From then on they were hooked. Len, 61 and Dolly, 60 began to plan all other summer get-a-ways, picnics and family events around the first weekend in August, which was now kept for their annual PMC ride. This includes their daughter’s wedding.
Enter second generation cyclist, Laura Bicknell-Carbone.
“I found the perfect guy, perfect dress and perfect venue for the reception, but only one problem, the date we held was the first weekend in August.” says, Bicknell-Carbone. “My mother quickly reminded me that that weekend is reserved for the PMC. When I asked her what was more important, she said, ‘Don’t make me answer that.’”
Bicknell-Carbone was married at the same venue, just a week before and it was after that she decided she would join her parents in the PMC.
“I thought to myself, if the PMC is that important to them I should see what it’s all about,” says Bicknell-Carbone. “It’s hard to put into words how important it is to us. After losing my grandfather and so many others to cancer, it is our dream that someday we will be able to do the ride just for fun, because we’ll have helped to fund a cure.”
The passion for the PMC even extends to Bicknell-Carbone’s two boys, Patrick Carbone, 12, and John Carbone, 8, who, for the past five years, have ridden in local PMC Kids Rides in honor of their soccer coach. Collectively they have raised more than $2,000 for the cause.
This August 6 and 7 the Bicknells will complete their 26th PMC and Bicknell-Carbone will take on her 15th ride. Want to help Len, Dolly and Laura reach the million dollar mark? Check out their Paceline profiles to make a donation.