Josh Fenollosa's Ride

PMC 2014

This past year has been the hardest since Henry's first year of life.  After a courageous and hard fought battle with brain cancer, my brother Nat died on February 23rd.

Uncle Knock Knock, as Henry affectionately nicknamed Nat, was diagnosed with Glioblastoma shortly after Henry's 6th birthday. As too many of you know, a cancer diagnosis hits you out of the blue and socks you in the stomach; in a split second life changes.  For Nat, a treatment plan came into focus and we stood by as he pulled out all the guns.  He never said no to an experimental protocol, a stomach-turning diet, trial meds and countless tests.  Nat was determined to fight his brain tumor with everything he had, and he also felt an obligation to others who would be diagnosed in years to come. 

Watching his uncles' illness also brought a new awareness to Henry that not everyone is so lucky to have their cancer treated successfully.  By necessity it became a chance to talk to Henry about his own chemotherapy treatments, infections and blood transfusions.  Henry and Nat had always shared a close bond and sadly cancer became a part of it.

While every cancer is different and every patient has their own personal experience, watching Nat's illness allowed Henry to express some of his own frustrations and worries. Would his cancer come back? Why was his leg paralyzed and Uncle Knock Knock's wasn't?  Sometimes we had answers and sometimes we didn't. But through it all, Nat shared his optimism and hope with Henry. Nat taught Henry never to stand down, even in the face of daunting obstacles. They shared an unspoken understanding that life is unfair. It can be difficult and painful. But the desire to love and laugh is stronger.  In sharing his fighting spirit with Henry, Nat gave him a gift he will draw upon for his entire life.

Henry's recently celebrated his 9th birthday. He is alive today because of groundbreaking medical discoveries financed in large part by PMC funds. The fact that Henry's cancer was diagnosed before he was even born, and that doctors at Dana Farber had a plan for his treatment before Catherine and I even laid eyes on our son is due in large part to the crucial funds raised by the PMC's unrestricted gifts to Dana Farber.  Last year alone the PMC gave $39 million to fund fund groundbreaking 'open source' research at Dana Farber, benefitting cancer patients around the world.  And thanks go to patients like Nat who through their own illness still want to help others.

I feel very lucky to have shared my life with Nat.  As this year's PMC approaches, I am riding with a renewed sense of fight and determination to make a difference.  In 2010, Nat and I formed our PMC team, Equipe Henry, together with David Greene.  Nat and I spent countless hours planning training rides, designing a team jersey, and egging each other on up the steepest hills and through the hottest days.  Nat bravely rode the PMC in between his chemo cycles, a team member forever, even when his body didn’t want to cooperate. The team was created to honor Henry's battle with cancer.  Little did we know it would also honor Nat.

On August 2 & 3rd, together with the other 14 riders on Equipe Henry, I will ride 200 miles in the Pan Mass Challenge from Sturbridge to Provincetown, MA.  Our team is full of family and friends, everyone riding for a different reason; honoring lost parents and siblings, celebrating survivors, supporting friends.  I will miss Nat dearly. 

Please join me by supporting my PMC ride.  Every single dollar raised goes to cancer research and treatment.  Henry is living proof of what your generous donations can do. 

Sincerely,
Josh, Catherine, Henry, Leo and Ruby Fenollosa




Josh's PMC Total

$50

Goal

$24,000

My Progress

My Online Supporters

My Rides

2015 $50 Sturbridge to Family Finish at Ptown (2-Day)
2014 $22,242 Sturbridge to Family Finish at Ptown (2-Day)
2013 $20,425 Sturbridge to Family Finish at Ptown (2-Day)
2012 $18,495 Sturbridge to Family Finish at Ptown (2-Day)
2011 $20,813.31 Sturbridge to Family Finish at Ptown (2-Day)
2010 $12,861 Sturbridge to Family Finish at Ptown (2-Day)
Josh's Personal Gallery