Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Support My Ride Against Cancer: The 192-mile Pan Mass Challenge!

Dear Friends: As many of you know, 30 months ago, I received what I thought at the time was devastating news: I had cancer, specifically, mantle cell lymphoma, one of the rarest forms of the disease, with only 3,000 cases worldwide and fairly grim survival rates.  I wrote many of you an email with the news, aptly titled, “A Big Hill To Climb.”  Thanks to an innovative new treatment known as The Nordic Regime, an incredible medical team, a strong and loving wife, and all of you amazing friends, I am lucky enough to be writing you today.  I’ve been cancer free since mid-way through my seven rounds of chemo and bone marrow transplant.  I don’t use words like survivor, but don’t think I don’t thank my lucky stars every day that I wake up and think about getting on the bike to train instead of getting in the car to go to chemo or get another blood test or scan.

Many of you were kind enough to sponsor me as I trained and rode in the 100-mile Livestrong Challenge in Philadelphia last August.  With your help, I raised nearly $5,000 to fund Livestrong’s efforts to support the 28 million people affected by cancer.  This year, I’ve decided to kick it up a notch, and will tackle the legendary Pan Mass Challenge, a 192-mile, two-day bike ride from Sturbridge to Provincetown.  Day one takes me 111 miles from Sturbridge to Bourne; Day Two should be a relatively flat 79 miles from Bourne to P’Town.

I view this ride as a celebration of the blessings I’ve received, of my good health and good luck, and a giant thank you to the doctors, the hospitals, the researchers, and especially the NURSES, who were the source of vital encouragement, support, and inspiration to Kathleen and me throughout my treatment and the aftermath.  100 percent of funds raised by the ride go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, one of the leading research institutions in the world.  I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for cutting edge research and many people who gave their lives in research trials so that an effective treatement could be found.

So on August 6th, I’ll be getting up at the crack of dawn to drive west to Sturbridge so that I can pedal East to the Cape.  I’ll sleep at my in-laws (thanks Mo & Fou!) in Falmouth and drive over to Bourne on the 7th, so that I can torture myself all over again by riding to from Bourne to the tip of the Cape.  As most of you know, I ride year-round, but I’ll start training in earnest on Memorial Day, covering 100-200 miles a week over 10 weeks to get ready.

I’ll do the training.  I’d like to ask you to do one thing to help me out: Make a donation, of any amount, to support my ride.  You can give $5 or $50 or any amount that suits you, but please let me know that you’re right there with me as I climb 2,500 feet of hills that are still nothing compared to the hills I had to climb 30 months ago.

Making a contribution is easy.  You can go to my PMC Web Page and donate directly there.  If you prefer to write a check or if you have matching gifts available through your employer, you can make a check out to “Pan Mass Challenge” with “Stephen Pratt 72947-5” in the memo, and mail it to me at 42 Glen St., Dover, MA 02030.

Thank you for all that you’ve done already to support me getting this far.  Anything you can give will help others like me and will help me make the most of the incredible gift that a second chance at life represents.



PS: Apologies if you get this more than once due to cross-posting…

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