What better way to start the New Year than planning for the next Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) adventure for Team True North, our cycling team that raised $60,000 for the UMass Memorial/Dana-Farber Cancer Care Collaborative through our first-ever PMC ride last year. Registration opens today (January 3) for riders who have previously raised $ 8,500 or more. For alumni of the race, registration opens January 7; and for newcomers, registration opens January 10. The earlier you register, the better the route and housing selections you will have for the race. I hope you’ll consider joining Team True North for another great day (or two days) of bike riding for a good cause – to help improve cancer care for patients in central Massachusetts and the world and eventually find a cure for this dreaded disease.
Unfortunately, so many of us know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer or who may be a cancer survivor. I recently saw one of our own caregivers whom I’ve worked with for years in the Emergency Department, who told me she had just finished treatment for breast cancer. It’s because of people like her – someone in our own UMass Memorial family – that I choose to ride in this important fundraiser event.
And it is because of the thousands of cancer patients we treat at UMass Memorial Cancer Center that we became the first academic medical center to join the Dana-Farber Cancer Care Collaborative three years ago. The funds we raised at last year’s PMC have gone directly to our relationship with Dana-Farber, so that it benefits patients right here in our own community who are challenged with this diagnosis. This relationship strengthens our adult medical oncology services and, together with our expert surgeons and radiation oncologists, assures we can provide the very best cancer care for the people of our region. Today, we’re able to collaborate with our colleagues at Dana-Farber to provide the best in subspecialty cancer expertise and a broader array of clinical trials.
As captain of Team True North, it was a proud moment for me on Aug. 3 last year as our team of riders set out from both the Sturbridge and Wellesley starting points. Some of us rode 25 miles, some rode 50 and others rode the full 187 miles over the weekend (I personally rode 109 miles that Saturday). That’s the beauty of the Pan-Mass Challenge – the routes range from 25 to 187 miles and are tailored for riders of any and all levels of ability. This year’s event will be held August 1 and 2 with options of 12 different routes.
Registering for the PMC online and joining Team True North is easy. Simply visit the PMC site to register for your route. Once you register with PMC, please send an email confirming your registration to firstname.lastname@example.org so you can be added to Team True North and set up your fundraising so that it directly benefits our caregivers and patients. For more information, please visit https://www.pmc.org/ride/teams.
I’m starting my training now, so I’m ready for August. Let’s cycle together for a great cause. As the PMC gets closer, I’ll share more important details and logistics. Thank you for all you do for our patients and each other.