In April of 2007, as an otherwise healthy and active 28 year old, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Thanks to decades of investment this cancer is eminently treatable and curable, and after 6 months of chemotherapy and radiation I was cancer free, and have been fortunate to remain so over the last decade plus. In that 12 year span I was fortunate to discover the singular true joy in life, becoming a father to my wonderful son Sean. A few generations ago that would not have been possible for me.
Unfortunately over the last 12 years I also lost my father, father-in-law, a college classmate and a very close industry colleague to cancer - a reminder that much more work can be done. In addition to lives lost, I have seen countless others face cancer down successfully and join the group of survivors I am proud to be a part of, Living Proof in PMC parlance. That is why I ride and support the PMC and why I am proud, with the help of a great network of friends and colleagues, to have raised over $40,000 for the PMC and The DFCI.
Every year as we talk to other riders it comes up - "why do you do it?" The harsh reality for those of us who have ridden the event for any period of time is it's a two part answer; why did you originally do it, and why are you continuing to do it? Because with each passing year there is news of a new diagnosis, new battles fought and won, and unfortunately wonderful people lost to this terrible disease. I will continue to be a part of the PMC movement, because as we approach ONE BILLION DOLLARS raised and donated, we know we are funding cures, saving lives and doing the very human work of giving back.
That's why I PMC!
1. My son and I at the Orleans water stop on day 2 of the 2019 PMC
2. The PMC bridge at DFCI, while visiting DF last December I found myself in the starting line photo from my first ride, the 2008 edition - 10 months following conclusion of my treatment
Guest post by Gary Sheehan