During the first weekend of August, 6,000 cyclists rode across the state of Massachusetts with one common goal in mind: conquering cancer. Among them was Dr. David Reardon, MD, physician and Clinical Director of the Center for Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Back in July we learned how Dr. Reardon and his wife were preparing for their first Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC). Now that they’ve successfully completed the ride, we spoke with Dr. Reardon to gain some insider insight about his journey!
Q: How did the PMC compare to your expectations?
A: The PMC is a remarkable event. Everyone described how moving and inspirational the experience is, and they were absolutely right. Returning from Provincetown on the ferry after completing a 162-mile route gave me time to think about what was accomplished in this single weekend. I thought about how many lives were extended and how many patients would be cured because of all who rode and supported the PMC. It is a wonderful feeling to have been a small part of that. The PMC left me amazed.
Q: Now that you’ve been through it, what advice would you give to first time PMC riders next year?
A: Train! Ride your bike a lot beforehand to get your butt used to being in the bike seat for several hours at a time. Also try to hook up with a supportive group. Beth and I were extremely fortunate to join Team Erica’s Entourage, a wonderful and extremely supportive group that helped us prepare for the PMC weekend.
Q: What did it feel like riding alongside Dana-Farber patients and family members?
A: Simply an honor – no better words to describe it.
Q: What kept you motivated when you felt tired?
A: The ride was tough – a couple of hot days and some of the hills felt like they would never end. Nonetheless, what we went through is a fraction of what our patients and their families go through. And they do so with amazing grace and fortitude.
Q: Do you have any tips for future riders?
A: A couple of things – getting decent sleep Saturday night is critical to getting up and going Sunday. Second, staying hydrated and eating regularly is crucial.
Q: What was your favorite moment from the weekend?
A: The camaraderie of riders and supporters along the way and having my best friend [wife Beth] by my side through it all. It’s about the journey!
The PMC’s 2015 fundraising goal is $45 million, which will bring the total raised since 1980 to $500million. There’s still time to support a rider you know and be a part of this record breaking milestone. Congratulations and thank you to all of the committed riders, donors, sponsors, and volunteers who joined together to support lifesaving cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute!
Senior Associate Director, Division of Development and the Jimmy Fund