Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pan Mass Challenge 2013

Johnny Kowaleski PMC - 2012

 For the 28th year my cousin will be participating in the Pan Mass Challenge raising funds for cancer research. His dad was cured of throat cancer and I still remember the rough sound of his voice when he would visit my dad for their fishing outings.

I don't know anyone that hasn't been affected by this disease. I had my turn this year with a squamous cell carcinoma which thankfully was treated with a 75 year old procedure developed by Dr Mohs.

Cancer seems especially cruel when it attacks children and I'm very proud that my cousin has done this for so many years as a "heavy hitter", meaning one of a small group that is in the top fund-raisers. I'm including his message to me in this posting, I'm sure he'll be okay with that:

On August 3rd and 4th  I will be cycling in my 28th consecutive Pan Mass Challenge to help fund treatment of childhood cancer and cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and its fundraising arm, the Jimmy Fund.  As a charity event, the PMC raises around half of the yearly funds for the Jimmy Fund, with our target north of $35M this year. I ask you to help by making a donation at JOHNK's PMC .  This url, expanded below, will send you to a secure web page at pmc.org .  Alternatively, you can send a check made out to “PMC” to my home.  Part of what makes the PMC unique is that EVERY cent you donate to this cause arrives undiminished at the Dana Farber.  100%.  Every cent! Sponsors and participants pay for all the overhead;  thousands of volunteers provide the labor;  cyclist’s provide the sweat. With 5000+ cyclists and 2000+ volunteers, the PMC makes a mark on MA roads and hearts.  The MA Chief of Police organization helps us through the maze of back roads and hills along the 192 mile two day event.    The well-wishers along the roadways give us wings.  I cast a non-traditional profile on a road bike.  192 miles, even over 2 days, tests my body, mind and soul.  The training is a bit like meditation, grinding out the miles in solitude, communing with nature, cursing the climbs, the heat, the wind, the cold, the flat tires.  Fundraising the $5k minimum tests my commitment.  It all changes on PMC Saturday morning. “Neither rain nor snow nor gloom of morning can keep us from our … “ The energy during the ride has us focus on the quality of our lives and friends, and the plight of those inflicted by this nasty disease.  This year a friend’s sister has had a relapse of breast cancer and another friend who was inflicted with cancer in her youth had complications.  With all the promise of cures appearing in the media, the reality on the ground is that it is still a long slog to the cure.  Moreso with the federal government pulling back funding. I am on a team that directs its funds to caring for long term cancer survivors in a clinic that is part of the Dana Farber.   Understanding the effect of treatment on survivors and seeing to their continued care helps improve the various therapies used for cure.  And it is effective at catching early those whose cancer returns. I take the presumptive stand of thanking you in advance whether for this year or years before.  I invite you to check out pictures and words on kowaleski.org which I shall update after the ride.  I ask you to ride along with me in spirit on the 3rd and 4th and wish me good fortune. You make this possible.
Hope you can help. 
Closer By The Mile,JohnK http://www2.pmc.org/profile/pfp.asp?profileid=JK0013 for donations (expansion of the above url)