I’ve been obsessed with bike riding since I was 6 years old. Even then, nothing compared to the sense of freedom I discovered when I rode. One year in, my first crash left a chain guard gash in my arm that required stitches and a trip to the ER; I remember crystal clearly how I stood still l as the bike fell over, taking me with it. Yet it was blood and tears but no sweat, and I kept at it – there were other fall-over moments, lots of road rash, two broken helmets, and a separated shoulder, but nothing so serious as to stop me chasing how magical it felt.

And nothing’s changed – my bike is my #1 endurance, exercise and mental health tool. Spring, summer and fall, it comes everywhere with me (forget winter – I’m not that tough).  It’s more than a hobby, it feels like a fulfillment, and it has since I was a kid. That’s half of the reason I train every year for the PMC, 190 miles in 2 days to raise money for Dana Farber’s cancer initiatives. As a survivor,  I also ride to help those who have been stricken and are too weak to pedal, as I once was.

Last fall, a check was given to the Farber for $51 million, raised by 5,000 riders – the lofty goal had been 48. In the past 38 years, the PMC has raised a grand total of $598 million. The ride is one of the best things I do with my energy, spirit, time, and life because it makes me, as well as others, healthy. PMC’s mantra is “closer by the mile” and every year, it manages to feel more meaningful; as we wheel into the finish line people are applauding and cheering, and for a moment, I’m a rock star. In that instant, it all feels like a collective miracle… one big, living proof that we can beat the odds.

TO GIVE: http://profile.pmc.org/JA0091