BostonBruins.com – The Boston Bruins Foundation’s Pan-Mass Challenge team is recuperating after an arduous, yet successful weekend, raising over $170,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The contingent of 30 riders, relying on supporters and each other, conquered the two-day, 192-mile bicycle ride from Sturbridge to Provincetown, Mass., dropping the gloves to fight cancer in typical Bruins fashion.
Dan Murphy, a member of the Boston Bruins Foundation’s PMC team, celebrated his 10th PMC ride with some special, unexpected guests.
“My wife had invited all our friends from Epping, [New Hampshire] behind my back without me knowing,” Murphy said.
The New Hampshire native couldn’t contain his excitement when speaking of the hometown crew, most of which traveled over three hours to offer their encouragement.
“She’s actually been planning this for five months, and they were all at the finish line in Provincetown,” said Murphy. “They had yellow shirts with my name on it and [they were] cheering me on as I came in. I had no idea it was going to happen.”
While the abundant show of support for the riders willed them to the finish line, Bruins Foundation team member, and now seven-time PMC rider, Rich McDonald was impressed by the unbreakable will and determination of his battalion.
“Well, I think the best part of the ride, especially this year, was riding with the whole team on the second day,” said the West Newbury, Mass., native. “I think the abilities have scaled up a bit over the past few years, and being able to ride with the whole team, all 30 riders at the same time, was pretty exciting.”
McDonald, like many, expressed his satisfaction of dawning the Bruins logo on his chest.
“Yes, I do take a lot of pride in that,” said McDonald. “It’s very important for me. Everything that the foundation has been doing over the past few years with all the money they’ve raised for different things, and especially during the ride this year, the shirts really were beautiful, and seeing everybody with the foundation shirts on, I was in the back of the pack and watching everybody ride up in front. It was very inspiring and very fulfilling to see that.”
Craig Taylor, a three-time PMC rider originally from St. Catharines, Ontario, spoke to the amazing progress and character of the PMC “Pedal Partners.”
Pedal Partners are pediatric oncology patients of the Jimmy Fund Clinic, a subset of Dana-Farber. These children, partnered with cyclist teams well before the event, oftentimes are recipients of the treatments and care made possible as a result of the funds raised by the PMC.
“The Boston Bruins pedal partner, Cian [Byrne], is thriving, excited, and he’s grown like a weed,” said Taylor, “He’s maybe three, almost four now. But when we saw him, he was very much battling cancer during his first year as a pedal partner. He was there again with his family [this year].”
Taylor, who is now a U.S. citizen living in East Kingston, N.H., drew inspiration not only from Cian, but also from some special individuals he located along the route.
“What really added to that, his [Cian’s] success story is the two to three individuals that were standing along the way that said, ‘Pedal Partner 2002, now in college,’ and ‘Pedal Partner 2004, now in high school,’ said Taylor.
“No matter how sore, or tired, or anything I was, those folks, when you see them, they’re such an inspiration to all of us riders.”
Taylor, McDonald, and Murphy have all expressed they will be back at the PMC next year and many years beyond.
“I hope to be one of those guys that we met on the [cruise ride] back that said, ‘It’s my 32nd year,’ or ‘It’s my 24th year,’ that’ll be me one day,” said Taylor.
“Hopefully, it’ll be with the Boston Bruins Foundation.”
To learn more about the Boston Bruins Foundation’s Pan-Mass Challenge team and show your support, check out BostonBruins.com/foundation.
The Bruins Foundation’s PMC team will continue to raise funds for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through October 1. Help contribute to the cause by clicking here.