Wareham woman joins thousands in bike-a-thon for cancer research

By Lydia Goerner | Jul 24, 2017
Courtesy of: Nichole Stahmer Nichole Stahmer gives her family high fives as she finishes the Pan-Mass Challenge last year.

A Wareham woman will bike over 190 miles next weekend, joined by thousands who have been impacted by cancer.

Nichole Stahmer is participating in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) for the fourth year Aug. 5 and 6. According to their website, the PMC's annual bike-a-thon raises more money for charity than any other athletic fundraising event in the country, with 100 percent of rider-raised money donated to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Stahmer began participating in the ride four years ago after her son, then a freshman in college, was diagnosed with cancer.

“I said, ‘I can sit here and have a pity party or I can do something,’” Stahmer said. She raises $4,800 each year to take part in the PMC.

Stahmer rides from Sturbridge to Bourne on the first day of the PMC and from Bourne to Provincetown the second day. There are several routes riders can choose from, but Stahmer does the longest one. She said the “pretty extreme” hills in Sturbridge are difficult to prepare for, but the atmosphere, with over 6,200 riders, is exhilarating.

“When you get there and see all the bikes lined up, it’s a sea of bicycles,” Stahmer said. “The first year I was blown away. I’m totally enamored by it every year.”

Stahmer said the route is significant to her because her son, now cancer-free, had just started attending the Massachusetts Maritime Academy when he was diagnosed with cancer. The college in Bourne is where the first day of the bike ride ends. The second day’s ride brings her to Provincetown, her mother and grandmother’s hometown, both who had breast cancer. The cemetery where Stahmer’s grandmother is buried is right near the finish line.

“The first day I’m riding for the survivors and the second day I’m riding to work for the people for who there wasn’t enough research to save,” Stahmer said.

The PMC has contributed $547 million to lifesaving cancer research and treatment since 1980. Riders will pass through Wareham and Onset on Aug. 5. Stahmer said this year, she is looking forward to “not being the rookie anymore” and motivating those who are riding for the first time.

“At 5 in the morning, when the sun’s just rising and all the bikes are at the start and they’re singing the national anthem, you really feel like you’re part of something that’s making a difference,” Stahmer said.

Comments (1)
Posted by: bob | Jul 27, 2017 14:02

Good Luck to you and the other riders ,for a great cause,but be very careful of the pot holes and sinking catch basins while you travel threw Wareham. roads......

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