Pan-Mass Challenge races through Wareham

By Meghan Neely | Aug 04, 2018
Photo by: Meghan Neely Cyclists in the Pan-Mass Challenge roll up to Decas Elementary School for a water break.

Cyclists in the Pan-Mass Challenged raced through Wareham on Saturday, Aug. 4 on a 192-mile journey from Sturbridge to Bourne.

Over 6,300 participants entered the challenge to raise money for adult and pediatric cancer care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston alongside 4,000 volunteers.

They came from over 40 states and 10 different countries, but all rode with a similar goal in mind: To raise $52 million for a cure.

"It's doing something outside of yourself to help others," said Eva Guinan of Newton. "That's really what all of this is about."

Guinan is a pediatric oncologist at Dana-Farber whose inspiration to cycle comes from her patients and their families. Guinan also rides for her mother who lost her battle with cancer 13 years ago.

"We always did stuff like this together," Guinan said. "That first year without her, I cried all the way from Boston to Provincetown. That's the worst thing about cancer, it's so personal."

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute sees 640,000 outpatient visits per year and has approximately 575 to 600 therapeutic clinical trials open at any given time.

"Dana-Farber was excellent to us," said Dana Etre of Milton. "I really don't know what we would have done without them."

Etre's wife, Laura, was diagnosed with breast cancer a year and a half ago. On Saturday, the couple rode as a part of team Dragonfly raising close to a thousand over their $75,000 goal with the help of friends and family.

"The support from the ride is the best part," Etre said. "We're a community that inspires each other to keep fighting."

As cyclists paused for a water break at Decas Elementary School, they were greeted by Mary Watson of Hanson.

While not a formal volunteer in this year's challenge, Watson decided to use her day off to cheer the cyclists in Wareham on.

"From Decas it's seven miles to the finish line," Watson said. "They need all the support they can get."

Like many at the Pan-Mass Challenge, Watson also has a family member affected by cancer.

"What they're doing today is really important," Watson said. "So this is also my way of saying thanks."

One hundred percent of all funds raised by Pan-Mass cyclists will go directly to the Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Mary Watson of Hanson cheers on cyclists as they reach the last seven miles of the race. (Photo by: Meghan Neely)
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