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Melissa is supporting Melissa Jacoby in the PMC and your donation will count towards Melissa Jacoby's fundraising goal. Click "Continue" to to support Melissa and Melissa Jacoby's goal. Melissa's fundraising effort is going towards the Perry S. Levy Fund for Gastrointestinal Cancer Research
<-- picture to the left is me 15 minutes before the start of the 2012 PMC
A snowy winter, a lapse in gym membership and a busy work schedule is not making me feel very prepared for this year's Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) - but it will be here before we know it (August 2-3) and I will get on my bike regardless of my training regimen. This will be my 14th year participating in this event and I am proud to say that I have personally raised $140,000 dollars for the fight against cancer. With the fundraising we do this year, Team Perry will be in striking distance of its 5 million dollar milestone! It is truly thrilling to know that we are making a difference! This year will also mark another special milestone for one of my closest friends, Marci Blacker. On March 23rd she celebrated 10 years cancer free! It will be her 5th PMC riding with Team Perry and I will be riding with her 2 days (170 miles) this year to celebrate this very happy occasion!
As most of you know, my first husband Perry passed away in 1999 after a short battle with cancer of the small bowel. It is hard to believe that it was 14 years ago, July 4th weekend that Perry and I sat in his hospital room to learn of his diagnosis - we were devastated. We had been married less than 2 years and he was the picture of health! We knew it would be a hard road but Perry was a fighter and we had every reason to believe he would beat it. Four months later, he was gone. It is still unthinkable that Perry, a marathon runner and tri-athlete, lost his life at the age of 32. And this year, things have once again touched close to home, my mother-in-law, Rebecca is fighting a great fight against multiple myeloma! This has provided me re-newed motivation to continue this uphill battle to try and lick this horrible disease!
Living through the tragedy of losing Perry and all the bumps and bruises I have experienced since then, has made me appreciate everything my life has become and giving back is now such an integral part of it.I could not do any of this without the love and support of my husband Josh (and our children Max and Ryan - who are proud PMC Kids Riders!).It is no small feat to manage a team of almost 70 riders who raise approx. $500,000 a year.Josh not only allows me the time to coordinate the troops and go on the much needed training rides while holding down the fort at home, but he also understands my passion to try and make a difference. Words cannot express my love and gratitude for his support - he is an incredible man, husband and father.
This year, Team Perry is so fortunate to have been paired with a Pedal Partner - a child receiveing treatment at DFCI. Kate is a beautiful 6-year-old little girl who is currently being treated for T-cell ALL, a form of childhood leukemia. Kate is full of spunk and loves sparkly things. She is amazing in so many ways. Her parents, Evelyn and David, are wonderful people. They are doing everything in their power to get Kate well and keep her smiling, even in the midst of a very aggressive treatment protocol. They are so grateful to Team Perry for everything we do, and I think, "What do we do? we pedal our bikes." But then I think of how those pedal strokes translate to dollars, and how those dollars have funded and will continue to fund the salaries of some incredibly brilliant fellows who've made enormous contributions to the research and treatment at Dana-Farber. We have supported many amazing doctors over the past several years and our brand new Fellow is no exception.Marios Giannakis, MD, PhD. has been an outstanding clinical hematology/oncology fellow at the Dana-Farber, caring for patients with GI cancers. His work to date has already identified new genes in colorectal cancers that offer the potential to generate novel therapies for GI cancer patients.
Finally, we received this note last week directly from the Head of GI at DFCI (Dr. Charles Fuchs) “With the generous support of Team Perry, we have made great progress in our effort to conduct genetic sequencing of the tumors of GI cancer patients. Fifteen years ago, it took a decade and 3.8 billion dollars to sequence the genome of one person. Today, we possess the technology to sequence the entire genome of an individual patient’s tumor in 6 weeks for less than $3,500.With the support of Team Perry, we have completed sequencing of more than 1,200 patients’ tumors, and this unprecedented effort is transforming our understanding of colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer and other major GI cancers.We have, to date, identified several new genes that offer the promise of defining the next generation of targets for cancer drug development.Furthermore, the information generated by the project is providing the means for cancer discovery for past and current Team Perry fellows - Brian Wolpin, Doug Rubinson, and Marios Giannakis, among others -- and will fuel cancer investigation for the coming decade.” -- that is what I call “making an impact!”
Ok ... so here it comes. The ask!Please GIVE and please know that no amount is too small, I really mean that. Its for my Mother-in Law, REBECCA and its for KATE!
They've made it easy - click the "Donate to My Ride" button below and help us make a difference in the fight against cancer. If you would prefer to donate by check - please make it payable to "PMC-Jimmy Fund" and send it to my home at 33 Liberty Street, Natick, MA 01760. Thank you! Melissa