Cancer research grows as the Pan-Mass Challenge charity ride approaches $1 billion

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Since its beginnings in 1980, the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC), a two-day charity cycling ride across the Bay State, has raised an astounding $1 billion for cancer research.

This weekend (Aug. 6-7), the 2022 PMC will take to the streets as thousands of amateur cyclists pedal through towns, past the Cape Cod National Seashore, and through rural areas in an effort to raise money for the Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

This weekend alone, the organizers aim to raise and donate $66 million.

Since the PMC was founded 42 years ago, it has given $831 million to Dana-Farber. By 2024, the organizers hope to surpass $1 billion in donations.

The PMC is a celebration of the ability of the human spirit to transform suffering into advancement.
The event was started in 1980 by its founder Billy Starr, a resident of Newton, Massachusetts, west of Boston.
In the 1970s, after seeing the deaths of three family members, including his mother, from cancer, he pedaled across the commonwealth with 35 companions.

Billy Starr was a young man searching for purpose in life when he lost his mom, Betty, and two other relatives to cancer. He was inspired to create the Pan-Mass Challenge in 1980.

When Billy Starr’s mother, Betty, and two other family members passed away from cancer, he was a young man looking for meaning in life. In 1980, he was motivated to develop the Pan-Mass Challenge. Pan-Massachusetts Challenge by Bill Starr

The age of Betty Starr was only 49.

According to Starr, “The PMC was not a career goal.” “Nevertheless, I had to do it. I recognized a chance to do good. It energized me.”

The annual spectacle also lights up thousands of additional cyclists.

Many people describe the charity ride as a mystical experience: two days spent riding through the New England countryside in the scorching summer sun, at times in pain or on the verge of giving up, with hundreds of others united in a single goal.

According to the PMC’s website, “The PMC is the single greatest contributor to Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund and is responsible for 55% of the Jimmy Funds yearly revenue.”

Taunton resident Doug Ross, left, hosed down cyclists as they rode on Center Street in Dighton, Mass., as part of the 33rd Pan-Massachusetts Challenge in 2012.

During the 33rd Pan-Massachusetts Challenge in 2012, Taunton resident Doug Ross, on the left, washed down bikers as they rode on Center Street in Dighton, Massachusetts. (Wendy Maeda via Getty Images, The Boston Globe) )

Every dollar raised by riders is donated to Dana-Farber. The entire event’s operating budget is provided by corporate generosity.
From the hills of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, to the sand dunes of Provincetown, at the far end of Cape Cod, lies the ride’s characteristic 212-mile itinerary.
Thousands of volunteers help the PMC with everything from preparing sandwiches at water breaks to loading rider luggage into trucks headed for Provincetown.

In Wellesley, Mass., 5,500 cyclists from 36 states attend the official Wellesley start for the 33rd annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge at Babson College on August 4, 2012.

On August 4, 2012, at Babson College, 5,500 cyclists representing 36 states participate in the official Wellesley start of the 33rd annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge. Getty Images/Paul Marotta

Other tens of thousands of people from Massachusetts and other states line the street to support participants on the PMC’s main route and numerous subsidiary routes.

In 1980, Starr and his group of 36 pedal partners only managed to raise $10,000.
However, the initial riders thought they had accomplished something extraordinary. Many of those bikers have subsequently made yearly returns.

Billy Starr, center, has pedaled in every ride since founding the Pan-Mass Challenge in 1980. He's seen here with fellow riders at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne, Mass., where riders spend the night before pedaling across Cape Cod on Sunday to complete the two-day challenge.

Since the Pan-Mass Challenge was founded in 1980, Billy Starr, pictured in the center, has pedaled in every race. He can be seen here with other cyclists at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne, Massachusetts, where they spend the night before finishing the two-day challenge on Sunday by pedaling across Cape Cod. A challenge to all of Massachusetts

That year, “anything that could go wrong did go wrong,” according to Starr. But everybody believed it to be the best thing since sliced bread.
Since then, the journey has only expanded because to Starr’s escalating demands of corporate sponsors and fundraisers.
According to the founder, the typical two-day rider currently raises $9,700, which is almost as much as was raised on the first ride.

“The trip draws people in some way. I’m not sure what it is “According to Fox News Digital’s Barry Kraft, who has pedaled across the state with Starr every year since the PMC’s start in 1980.

People are supporting you on the entire route as you assist those in need.

“You’re undertaking a really difficult task. People are supporting you on the entire route as you assist those in need. Afterward, people are quite happy with it.” “After finishing the bike and arriving at Provincetown, you exclaim, “Wow.” This is amazing!””

On its website, the PMC declares that “our hope and aspiration is to give Dana-clinicians Farber’s and researchers the necessary resources to find cancer therapies.”
Fox News Digital’s Kerry J. Byrne is a lifestyle correspondent.