One year ago today, John Berryhill suffered a heart attack while out for a casual bike ride. This past weekend, John showed that he has fully recovered, and he and I completed our 162 mile Pan-Mass Challenge. Together so far, John and I have raised nearly $20,000 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and its Jimmy Fund, and much of this has been with the help of the domain investing community.
The Pan-Mass Challenge is a special ride because it is crystallizes the importance of Dana-Farber. Throughout the route, riders receive a ton of encouragement from Dana-Farber friends, supporters, and even patients. There are balloons on mailboxes, people cheering along the entire route, signs on polls, thousands of volunteers, and other support for riders. Over 950 people who participated as cyclists or volunteers are “Living Proof,” cancer survivors or are currently in treatment.
I want to share the two moments that are the most meaningful to me out of a great weekend.
Two miles before the Lakeville water stop, there are large signs along the side of the road with the photos and the names of children who are fighting cancer at Dana-Farber. Larger cycling teams can be matched with these “Pedal Partners,” and they can meet their partner at the rest stop if their health permits it. As I pass these signs, I make sure to look at each face and name, thinking about the critical care Dana-Farber provides through its Jimmy Fund Clinic. It’s during this stretch that can’t help but think how fortunate my wife and I are to have two healthy kids. I can’t even imagine what these Pedal Partners and their parents go through after a cancer diagnosis.
On the second day of the PMC, about a mile before the first hills of the day, a little boy and his mom were sitting on beach chairs at about 5:30 in the morning. They held a poster that said “Sean is here today because of you.” While it is the doctors, nurses, and researchers at Dana-Farber that are the real heroes, cyclists get a sense of how important the work Dana-Farber does and how meaningful DFCI is to the families it helps.
Put simply, Dana-Farber touches the lives of countless people who have friends or family members with cancer. PMC cyclists raise funds and awareness for DFCI, and it feels good to know I am a part of something much more important than a long bicycle ride.
I want to give thanks to domain industry donors who supported my 2019 PMC ride. I also want to give a special thanks to the companies who sponsored the jerseys we wore on day 2 of the PMC. All of the cyclists who passed us from behind (there were many) saw the backs of our jerseys. As an extra “thank you,” John and I also wore this shirt I created for Saturday after the first day of riding:
John and I still have some fundraising to do to hit our goal to help Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This is probably going to be the last outreach effort for me for the year. It would mean a lot to me to get your support, and I think John feels the same.