Sadly, I’m not sure how many of us have not been somehow touched by at least one form of this nasty disease, and surely no one needs me to try to wax poetically about how wretched it is.
So, I’ll try to keep this short.
Someone who once meant the world to me lost his battle with cancer back in May. His fight was sadly, and yet thankfully, all too brief and he was gone, I believe, before many were able to completely wrap their heads around the fact that they may lose him. I felt his loss in weird ways…and kind of lonely ways. It had been many years since we were close and, having gone in slightly different directions, I didn’t really have anyone to share my memories of him with after he was gone. Much of my sadness was actually for the MANY friends and loved ones who were still fiercely close to him and who had to feel the sudden loss of him from their immediate lives….as opposed to a life that they shared a number of years earlier, like mine. I couldn’t help but lay awake at night and hurt for his family, his girlfriend, his teammates, and his incredibly close circle of friends. The thought of his dog not understanding where he was stung me significantly. But, I missed him too…even though it felt selfish.
But this post isn’t intended to be about me….or even solely about him….it is about everyone who has had cancer detonate their world. You know what, this post is actually for anyone who hasn’t been rocked by the “c” word also.
This weekend, August 2nd (what would have been his 45th birthday) and August 3rd mark this year’s Pan-Mass Challenge. The PMC has been raising money for the fight against cancer since 1980 and, in those three plus decades, riders have raised over $400 million. As they say, “Closer By the Mile” towards a cure. I have had the honor of photographing the PMC for the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox organization has had its own team of riders, Team 9, out riding for a cure for many years. They are also unwavering supporters of Dana-Farber and The Jimmy Fund. Being witness to such camaraderie during the course of the 2 day ride has been beyond moving.
I have donated, in very modest ways, since 2004. Not every year, but most years. Each year, in the hopes of being able to donate more the following year. This year I have sponsored 3 amazing, dedicated, and humble riders. Three riders who are riding to celebrate loved ones and to be proactive in the fight against this heinous disease. Three riders who I am incredibly motivated by and proud of. If you do not know anyone riding this year, you can still donate.
So, if you’ve been thinking that you’d like to be charitable…or more charitable as the case probably is for many of you…there is still time.
The Pan Mass Challenge