In September, Danny will turn 4 years old. So it’s no surprise that his favorite activity is playing—indoors, outdoors, with trains, wherever he can. He should be able to play all he wants, but for nearly two years, Danny has been in treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, an aggressive cancer targeting his blood-forming tissues.
More than a dozen Adaptive Insights employees will be riding for Danny and loved ones, friends, and families impacted by cancer in the 39th annual Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC). The 160-mile bike ride across Massachusetts on Aug. 4 and 5 will benefit Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund. The fund raises money so kids like Danny, and people of all ages, can celebrate a lot more birthdays. Since 1980, the PMC has raised nearly $600 million for the Jimmy Fund, making it the nation’s most successful athletic fundraising event. In fact, the PMC is Dana-Farber’s single largest contributor. The PMC’s fundraising goal is $51 million this year, and 6,200 riders from around the world will hit the road to help reach it.
It’s the third year that Team Adaptive Insights will ride in the PMC and our first year with a Pedal Partner—Danny. There are 16 of us on our bicoastal team. Rookies Jonathan Bandi, Michael Burns, Stephanie Erickson, Fred Gewant, and Thomas McDermott will join 11 repeat riders: team captain Javier Flores (fifth year), Chris Canton (third year), Katie Doneghy (second year), Neal Dotterer (second year), Linda Hull (herself a cancer survivor who was treated at Dana-Farber, third year), Keane Johnson (son of our CFO Jim Johnson, second year), Rachel Sadhwani (a friend of the team, second year), Chris Shea (third year), and Brian Willette (third year). For my wife, Kathleen Bogan, this will be No. 8; for me it’s No. 10.
Humbling, but unforgettable
Riding the PMC can be humbling and an experience you’ll never forget. The first day is a thrill as you ride through neighborhoods where people line the streets, enthusiastically cheering you on. Along the way, you pass photos of all the PMC Pedal Partners—touching reminders of why you’re here in the first place. We’ll stop to take our own photos at Danny’s picture, and his folks assure us that if he’s feeling up to it that day, he’ll join us in person. What a priceless moment that would be to high-five Danny on the PMC course.
The second day is tougher as we wind our way through Cape Cod. We are again inspired by the support from local communities on the Cape, especially at “The Hedge” in Brewster, where hundreds of people will gather to support the PMC. As we near the finish in Provincetown, the journey becomes more difficult. Coastal headwinds remind you that forces bigger than you can put up roadblocks, but knowing you have a team beside you makes it easier to keep going. And this year, riding with the knowledge that our efforts will support Danny and other patients will help us push through these toughest sections of the race all the way to the finish.
Anyone who has ridden in the PMC knows that on top of all the requisite training and workouts, this is a way to raise funds to fight cancer. After Team Adaptive Insights raised $65,000 in 2017, we’re aiming for $90,000 this year, and while we’re on our way, we still have a long way to ride to get there. In addition to individual donations from colleagues, friends, and family, Javier has worked with several Adaptive Insights partners who are supporting us with generous sponsorships. Gold-level sponsors are Carlson Management Consulting, Business Solution Partners, and CohnReznick. Silver-level sponsors are IntuitiveTEK, NeoSystems, and RSM. We’re grateful to all these terrific companies for joining us in this effort. Our team jerseys will proudly display their logos.
We’re also proud to participate alongside many of our customers, including Team HubSpot, which will be riding in the PMC again this year.
Come along with us
We’re hoping you’ll participate with us on this journey—not as a cyclist, of course, but as a donor to Team Adaptive Insights. All funds raised for the PMC go directly to the Jimmy Fund and to help Danny and other patients get the treatment they need.
The money we and other riders raise helps Dana-Farber fund groundbreaking research, including personalized cancer vaccines and effective drug treatments for leukemia and lymphoma patients. It helps fund projects like Linda Hull’s clinical trial and breakthrough treatment. It saves lives.
That’s worth every mile of effort. After all, that little Massachusetts boy who loves to play is reason enough to keep pedaling, along with millions of reasons more.