Tony Brake's Ride

Why I Ride ...

On August 2 and 3, 2014, I will participate in my second consecutive Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC), cycling a combined 190 miles to raise vital funds for life-saving cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a world leader in adult and pediatric cancer treatment and research. This will mark my fifth consecutive year of fundraising for Dana-Farber, a relationship that began with my participation in the 2010 Boston Marathon when, looking for a means to enrich my marathon experience, I found the Boston Athletic Association's charity program and, specifically, the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team. That first experience as a charity "athlete" forever changed my life and immediately transformed my fitness pursuits into a philanthropy passion.

This year's journey will be difficult and emotional for me, as my brother Tim passed away on July 24, 2014, after a six-year battle with aggressive brain cancer that included three surgeries to remove tumors.  Through his experience with cancer, as well as the experiences of several other family members and friends, I am all too familiar with the ravages of cancer and the heartbreak and tragedy that often result.  My brother's passing only strengthens my resolve to continue my efforts to help fund advances in cancer research that will ultimately save or significantly improve the quality of potentially millions of lives.

My story isn't unique.  There isn't a single one of us who has escaped cancer's reach. Even if we have been fortunate to not have been personally affected, this horrible disease has most certainly has afflicted at least one family member or close friend/acquaintance. In the U.S. alone, the American Cancer Society (ACS), in its "Cancer Facts & Figures 2014" publication, estimates there will be approximately 1.7 MILLION new cancer cases and nearly 600 THOUSAND deaths in 2014. These figures are staggering and, while it's true medical advances have resulted in improved survival rates -- ACS reports an increase in the five-year average survival rate from 49 percent for cancers diagnosed in 1975-1977 to 68 percent in 2003-2009 -- there is still significant room for improvement. Many forms of cancer (e.g., brain, liver, lung, and pancreatic) continue to have very low survival rates.


I'm a proud supporter of the PMC because it is leading the charge to beat cancer by supporting Dana-Farber's tireless commitment to finding cures, and I ask that you join me in this worthy endeavor by supporting my fundraising efforts. You may give with the assurance that 100 percent of every dollar raised will be directed toward innovative cancer research and treatment that will positively impact lives for generations to come; not a single penny of your donation will be directed toward "administrative overhead". Further, contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. Please don't decline to give because all you have to spare is "a dollar or two". Every single penny will help further advances in cancer research/treatment.

As further incentive for you to act, I have set aside a meaningful amount of personal funds and will match your donation according to the following schedule. (Note the earlier you contribute, the larger my match.)

Donations made between:
Will be matched at a rate of:
Jan. 13, 2014 thru Mar. 3, 2014
50 percent ($0.50 match on every $1 donated)
Mar. 4, 2014 thru Aug. 3, 2014
25 percent ($0.25 match on every $1 donated)
Aug. 4, 2014 thru Sep. 30, 2014
10 percent ($0.10 match on every $1 donated)

To contribute online via credit card, please click the "Donate to My Ride" button below. Alternatively, check donations may be made payable to "Pan-Mass Challenge" and mailed to me.  (Note the postmark date will determine the percentage of my match.)  Please e-mail me to obtain my mailing address.


If your employer offers a matching gift program, please take the time to help your gift go even further by completing and submitting the required "paperwork". The few extra minutes it takes to do this is a worthwhile investment.

If any questions about the process, please e-mail me!


I look forward to receiving your support as you join me and my fellow cyclists in making a strong statement against cancer. The loved ones and/or friends you recognize with your gift will join my brother and the following people, among others, that I am personally riding for:

  • my late father-in-law, Marvin Lomas, who lost his battle with advanced brain cancer in April 2008;
  • my mom, Pat Rigg, an endometreal cancer survivor;
  • my aunt, Shirley Tribe, a breast cancer survivor;
  • my cousin, Lesa Matthes, a Hodgkin's lymphoma survivor;
  • Jack Bruce, the young nephew of a high school classmate, who has battled and beaten Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) not only once but, incredibly, twice
  • Sam Featherstone, the son of a co-worker, who lost his battle with brain cancer in January 2013 but, in his final weeks courageously raised over $200,000 for pediatric brain cancer research at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and continues to inspire fundraising efforts of several others

Tony's PMC Total




My Progress

My Rides

2014 $9,874.75 Sturbridge to Provincetown Inn (2-Day)
2013 $7,006.2 Sturbridge to Family Finish at Ptown (2-Day)
Tony's Personal Gallery