In the News
Brock Holt has been a Jimmy Fund Captain since 2015. In that role, he attends fundraising events, visits patients and builds support for cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. But if you ask the family members of the patients he's interacted with, he's done much more than that. "He could do just the bare minimum and still be a good guy," said Shaun Clark, the father of Nixon, who is was diagnosed with leukemia in 2017 during a visit to Vermont from Australia. "He does way more than just the bare minumum, and it's awesome." Friday, the MLB Players Association released a video of Jimmy Fund patients and their families reading thank you letters to Holt. In it, Nixon thanks his friend for sharing his Gatorade and bubble gum with him during a visit to Fenway Park, and pokes fun at him for his attempt at an Australian accent.
Brock Holt has had a special relationship with families going through tough times and they wanted to share their appreciation. There's not much to say beyond what the families say to the Red Sox utility player and the video is incredibly moving. He's played a special role in the lives of children involved with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Jimmy Fund and this video expresses how big it is.
Pan-Mass Challenge riders raise millions of dollars for cancer research and treatment and the payoff is priceless, as you can see with 13-year-old warrior Emma Levine. “I like to play outside with my dogs, cuddle them, go for a bike ride. I’m living life to the fullest, as I perceive it,” Levine told WBZ-TV. Last summer, those simple pleasures may not have been possible. In 2016, Emma was diagnosed with a rare renal sarcoma cancer. Months of intense chemotherapy followed to treat the kidney cancer. But, the tumors returned and spread to her lungs. Emma endured another long and painful round of chemo. “It was invasive. It was scary. Not a single part of it was good,” explained Emma.
On Aug. 3 and 4, more than 6,700 riders, including 108 riders from Cape Cod, will pedal up to 192 miles in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) with the goal of raising $60 million for cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Locals will ride with the goal of raising $60 million for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
On Sunday, the kids of Westwood, along with a few adult volunteers that made sure they didn’t go astray, hopped on their bicycles to take part in the PMC Kids Ride, a fundraiser and bike ride designed to let kids take part in the Pan-Mass Challenge. Beginning at the Martha Jones School, children had their choice of completing the one-mile Alisa’s Ride, the five mile Five for Fighting Ride, or the ten-mile Westwood Strong ride, depending on their age and ability. Amazingly, the ride, which saw a huge range of kids on all kinds of mountain bikes, BMX bikes, bikes with training wheels and even one young man on a scooter, was crash-free - despite a bunched starting line.
The Pan-Mass Challenge is a test of endurance and commitment. In August, more than 6,000 cyclists will ride 192 miles from Sturbridge to Provincetown over two days. But the PMC is more than just one weekend. Months before the annual PMC, hundreds of kids and adult volunteers gathered in Middleboro for the Cranberry Country PMC Kids Ride. The riders may be smaller and the course is a whole lot shorter but the goal is just as big. “To help people that are sick,” explained one of the pint-sized participants.
Wearing pink shirts, tutus, headbands, shorts and socks, participants ran up King Philip Street as bubbles were blown in their direction and they were pelted with clouds of colored dust. It was the inaugural Color for a Cure 5K on Sunday morning in memory of Kimberly Cibotti, who died in June 2018 after battling an aggressive form of breast cancer. The event was organized by her 13-year-old daughter, Ava, and family friend, Dana Brokemeir.
Friends and family of a volunteer Westerly firefighter, who passed away almost two weeks ago, gathered in his honor for "One Last Ride." Chris Lombardo, 23, passed away suddenly after fighting a battle with cancer. The community came together Saturday for a Jeep ride. At the event, more than 90 vehicles took part, including fire trucks and local and state police.
The 6th annual Jason Forget Memorial Jimmy Fund Golf Tournament, which took place on June 14 at Triggs Memorial Golf Course, raised $12,800, and the proceeds from the event were again donated to the Jimmy Fund golf program. The tournament, which again saw 144 golfers compete in a best-ball format and has raised a total of $70,100 in its six years of existence, is held to honor the life of Jason Forget, a 1999 graduate of Woonsocket High who lost his life to cancer at the age of 27 in 2008.
Business and philanthropic leaders came together to raise more than $2.3 million for cancer research and care. Guests were treated to a musical performance by singer, songwriter and actor Josh Groban.
This past Saturday we hosted the 15th Bedford PMC Kids Ride at JGMS. The event was wonderful in many ways: watching little ones navigate the obstacle course on “Wally’s Way” and seeing so many children (and adults!) head off through the balloon arch on scooters, tricycles, and bikes in support of such an important cause. It was especially meaningful to celebrate last year’s pedal partner, Stella Downey, who recently had her 1-year cancer free appointment. She and her twin brother Thomas spent hours on the obstacle course, much to the delight of their parents, family, and friends.
Keeping in mind the tragic loss of Jeffrey Vinick at age 19 this tournament --The Jeffrey Vinick Memorial Tournament which has now ended its long run, has generated almost $12 million dollars for the Jimmy Fund. I met and became friends with Jim and Harriet Vinick when we were classmates at Classical High School in Springfield. Jim was determined to do something to honor Jeffrey’s memory and that determination led from the Jeffrey Vinick Locker Room at the Basketball Hall of Fame to this golf tournament.
It was a moment now 18-year-old Jordan Leandre, will never forget: his childhood hero, David Ortiz, pushed his wheelchair onto the field on Opening Day 2006. “I feel like words don’t do it justice in a way,” Leandre said. He met Big Papi in the midst of a scary time at four years old, when he was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma in his right leg. “He called my dad to check in on me when I was going into surgery, I believe that was 2005. He didn’t need to do that but he’s such a genuine human being. He genuinely cared about how I was doing, so I thought that was awesome,” he explained. When he heard the news his forever hero may be in trouble, he said it was gut-wrenching. “My heart sunk. I’m freaking out wondering where he got shot, if he got hit in a vital organ, if he’s going to make it. I’m actually tearing up at this point. I thought I was going to lose my favorite player of all time.”
Last June, over 200 riders gathered at JGMS to ride in the 14th Bedford PMC Kids Ride. Some were riding in support or memory of a family member or friend who battled cancer. All were there to raise funds in support of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. We had the privilege of hosting Stella Downey- a beautiful happy 18-month-old girl who was battling cancer.
On the first weekend of August, Chris Ross will be pedaling his heart out when he rides in the Pan-Mass Challenge bike-a-thon. But, before that, he’ll be pouring his heart out as he raises money for the annual event with a special tradition of his own. Ross works as the food-operations manager at the Wellfleet Beachcomber, and is also founder of Clam Jam, an annual fundraiser in its 11th year that the Beachcomber restaurant and bar hosts to support his participation in the Pan-Mass Challenge.
More than three months after a Massachusetts teenager lost his battle with cancer, his family is committed to keeping his memory alive. Jake Silver, an 18-year-old from Ashland, passed away in February from osteosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer. His efforts to cross items off his bucket list went viral, and he got to go to Atlanta during Super Bowl LIII, received a call from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, sat in the front row at the Celtics games. His sister remembers staying with him to watch sporting events. "If the Celtics or anyone had a game, we'd always stay up and watch them," said Halle Silver.
Fifth annual Cranberry Country PMC Kids Ride surpasses 400 riders, approaching $100,000 in donationsJune 05, 2019
The Cranberry Country PMC Kids Ride keeps growing and growing and growing. And this year’s ride certainly kept to that trend, with 407 riders and $96,000 raised as of Monday, with that total expected to rise in the week after the event, according to organizer Bill Goldsmith of Middleboro. “Our hope is to break the $100,000 mark,” Goldsmith said. “The kids have done an incredible job of fundraising. We have more than doubled the money raised when compared to last year. It was a spectacular day.” On Sunday, the 407 registered riders, and many more volunteers and parents, set out from the Oak Point Club House area at about 10 am and completed one or a couple or a few — or how many ever you like or have time for — loops around the course, which was lined with enthusiastic supporters providing encouragement. And after the ride, it was party time with a DJ playing music in the Oak Point Club House, along with pizza and refreshments and more post-ride activities outside.
Can you believe it’s June? Here in New England, ice cream is a thing all year round, but especially as the weather warms up, a frozen treat feels even more delicious. Today or over the next few days, plan to stop in to City Hall Plaza for the 37th Annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl — the nation’s largest all-you-can-eat ice cream festival. Proceeds benefit patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber, so this is an indulgence you can feel really good about!
The summer is finally here, and with it comes the 37th annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl. The all-you-can-eat ice cream extravaganza is held at City Hall Plaza and accompanied by three days of live entertainment. Nearly 40 years ago the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl started when four local ice cream vendors came together to serve a crowd of 1,000 people. One vendor, Hendries Ice Cream, thought to donate the proceeds to the Jimmy Fund, which provides adult and pediatric cancer care at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This sweet idea has had an enormous impact over the years, with the festival collecting $6.7 million for cancer research to date.
Tuesday's Wake Up Call comes from the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl.
Hundreds of people raising money for cancer research got to live out a “Fenway Fantasy” on Saturday. Patients, both young and old, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute were given a chance to get out on the diamond and emulate their favorite athletes. “It is a really wonderful way to sort of turn fantasy into reality,” Jimmy Fund’s Assistant Vice President David Giagrando said. “The fantasy of finding a cure for cancer.” Bob Russo has been donating to the Jimmy Fund and participating in this unique event for about 20 years. “About 20 years ago, actually, my son was diagnosed,” Russo said. “And while we live in New York, we came to Boston to be treated at what we think is the best place in the world to be treated at.” 20 years later, Russo says his son is not only living but thriving with a large family of his own.
Jack Mowatt first rode the Pan-Mass Challenge in 1987, then started volunteering for the cancer fundraiser the next year. His father had died of lung cancer four years earlier, and raising money for cancer treatment and research with an epic bicycle ride across Massachusetts seemed perfect for the avid cyclist. Mowatt fell in love with the camaraderie of the race. He has not ridden the Pan-Mass Challenge since, but he has volunteered with the ride for 30 years. The ride is part of his life, Mowatt said. “It’s what I do every year. I’m always excited to do the Pan-Mass, and to see the riders, the tents of survivors,” Mowatt said. “You just can’t beat it.”
On June 23, Westwood's Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) Kids Ride will take place for the twelfth time. It will begin at Martha Jones Elementary School. The Kids PMC is for ages 3-15. "It's a great community event for kids," says coordinator Sara Mirson, who praises "her great team of volunteers," for getting entertainment and sponsors. Among the kids' entertainment will be Massachusetts' National Arena Football team the Massachusetts Pirates, who will have players, dancers, and their mascot Arthur there.
In Judaism, “Shelach Lecha” is a story in the Torah that is a testament to faith. It is a story of initial fear, but choosing to move forward anyway. This is a Torah portion that Will Ramsay will read for his bar mitzvah, as he connects it to a loss of a friend, and how he chose to move past the fear. At just 13 years old, Will will run the Covered Bridges Half Marathon in Pomfret, Vermont, Sunday, June 2 for his bar mitzvah project. He is running in memory of his friend Miles Goldberg, who died of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in 2017. The bar mitzvah project’s goal is to contribute to a cause that is significant and personalized to the participant. Through his run, Will is contributing to the Jimmy Fund, which raises money for care and research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
When Maddie Alexander found out she'd be designing a bag, she wanted to draw something bright and colorful, so she chose flowers. “Because I really like flowers,” Maddie said. “She loves arts and crafts, so to be able to be drawing, it was very exciting for her,” her mom, Kelly Alexander, said. The 6-year-old is a pediatric cancer patient at Dana Farber. Her floral reusable shopping bag that was unveiled Thursday will appear in HomeGoods stores nationwide. It’s part of the 19th annual HomeGoods Helps Families Fight Cancer campaign benefiting the Jimmy Fund.
Beacon Hill resident, Alexandra Torres, joined the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai as a way to raise money and awareness for ovarian cancer, a cause that has affected her and her family very personally. In December 2015, Alexandra’s mother, Michele Torres, was diagnosed with Stage Four Ovarian Cancer. “None of us saw the diagnosis coming,” Alexandra wrote. “During her diagnosis, she underwent extensive surgery and fought through chemotherapy treatments. She has recently decided to share her story so that we might be able to find effective screening measures and better treatment options for this awful disease.” Alexandra’s mother has now been cancer-free for over two years.
As the 12th annual Westwood Pan Mass Challenge Kids Ride approaches, hundreds of eager young riders will be taking to their bikes in order to raise money for a great cause. Over the past 11 years, the Westwood community alone has raised nearly $600k for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund to help fund life-saving cancer research. This year’s ride, taking place on Sunday, June 23, from 8:30 - 11:00 a.m. at Martha Jones Elementary, will boast appearances by the Massachusetts Pirates, a Bay State football team that competes in the National Arena League. Players, dance team members and the team mascot AAAARTHUR will be on-hand at the Westwood ride to cheer riders on, sign autographs and pose for photos.
This past Sunday, Wilmington kids proved that you don’t need to grow up before you can start making a difference as they pedaled for a cure to raise around $12,000 for cancer research. A total of 99 Wilmington kids between the ages of 3 and 12 rode their bikes on Sunday morning at the Boutwell Elementary School to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund as part of the PMC Kids Ride.
After every Red Sox win during the 2018 season, Boston manager Alex Cora hung a photo in his office with an image from the victory. By the end of Boston's championship season, Cora had hung 119 photos, creating a "Wall of Wins." Cora recently donated the wall as part of fundraising efforts for the Jimmy Fund, a Boston-based organization that supports the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute by raising money for cancer care and research. The piece, which includes each original 8x12 photo, is signed by Mookie Betts, Chris Sale, David Price and J.D. Martinez. It is valued at $300,000 by Leila Dunbar Appraisals and Consulting.
Wareham Police Officer Calib LaRue will be honored at Fenway Park for his military service alongside his wife, Scotlyn, during the “Hats Off to Heroes” moment as the Boston Red Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, June 7. Calib and Scotlyn are also among a group of Pan-Mass Challenge riders and volunteers being recognized throughout the game as Fenway celebrates “PMC Night” and the organization’s impact in the fight against cancer, according to a press release. The couple rode in their first PMC last year, and this year will be volunteering at the Wareham Water Stop along with a large group from the Wareham Police Association.
The Lumaghini Fund continues to grow and a new clinical trial will launch soon.
Heidi Fischer was diagnosed with a rare type of pancreatic cancer in 2010 — the same type that claimed the life of Aretha Franklin and Steve Jobs. But the Hannibal native has been in remission thanks to a recently-approved medication, and she formed a local team called Heidi’s Heroes who will travel to Massachusetts in August to pedal toward a cure in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) bike-a-thon. The group of dozens of friends and loved ones are raising funds for Dr. Jen Chan’s Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Cancer Research Lab at Boston’s largest Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, providing research that could lead to the next new treatment for the disease.
Forty years ago, Billy Starr founded the Pan-Mass Challenge, a charity bike ride across Massachusetts that raises money for cancer research. He said that a 400-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail and a 120-mile bike ride a couple of years earlier had helped him to discover what he wanted to do with his life: build a business that “serves a vast public need.” On Friday, Starr urged graduates of the College of Professional Studies at Northeastern to find a way to nurture their own most fervent interests in life.
Dana-Farber pediatric cancer patients enjoyed a special day at Fenway Park sponsored by the Pan-Mass Challenge. Patients like 2-year-old William Holbrook, also known as “Pedal Partners,” got to meet their team of cyclists raising money to defeat cancer at the organization’s annual race. William was diagnosed with a type of liver cancer when he was just 10 months old. His team of cyclists will join thousands more to bike the 192 miles from Sturbridge to Provincetown. “To bike on behalf of a child like this means an awful lot to all of us,” 21- time PMC cyclist John Reilly said.
Don't fight the power — at least not in this context. Become PART of the power Saturday at New London's Octane when over a dozen local hip hop artists will perform for "Hip Hop Gives Back." Fifty percent of the all profits will be donated to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It's quite a lineup, with artists from as far away as the Bronx and, of course, from across Connecticut: Ricky Bats, Sonny Daytons, Josh Millette, Chach, Gimmick, Tyler Castonguay, Premealom, D. Beau featuring Darren Horton, Tyler Lamarre, Witness, Mako Da General, EricBtheName, Tommy Keech and, the evening's host, Eli Font.
More than 350 young cyclists pedaled their hearts out during the Easton PMC Kids Ride at Parkview Elementary School on Saturday, April 27 with the goal of raising $60,000 to support cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.As a spoke in the wheel of the Pan-Mass Challenge 2019 fundraising campaign, the Easton PMC Kids Ride is one of more than 30 PMC Kids Rides happening throughout Massachusetts and New England this year, offering a way for children to become part of the PMC mission and involving young people in volunteerism and fundraising in a safe and athletic way.
Dana-Farber Cancer Oncologist and Artisan Bistro at the Ritz Carlton Boston pastry chef join us to preview the annual Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer fundraiser for breast cancer research—this year focusing on breast cancer in older woman, who are disproportionately undertreated and with less positive outcomes than younger women.
Even a week after finishing the Boston Marathon, Brian Herr felt pain. “My left foot is killing me,” he said with a chuckle Monday afternoon. But having completed the race 30 times, this year wasn’t the worst. He couldn’t walk for four days after his first run in 1988 because he didn’t properly train and in 1992, he ran nine weeks after he broke four ribs and suffered a punctured and collapsed lung after a skiing accident. In 2017, his 27-year streak as an official runner for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute team came to an abrupt end after another ski injury that left him with a fractured tibial plateau and torn ACL and MCL. After this year’s race, he’s run the marathon 28 times to raise money for Dana-Farber and before that twice as an unofficial entrant — or “bandit” — for a total of 30 Bostons.
Business and philanthropic leaders came together to raise more than $2.3 million for cancer research and care. Guests were treated to a musical performance by singer, songwriter and actor Josh Groban.
Those of us with a sweet tooth can feel a little less guilty next month when a local restaurant helps raise money for breast cancer research. From May 6 through Mother's Day, Alma Nove, located at the Hingham Shipyard, is participating in "Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer." Alma Nove, along with several other restaurants and shops throughout Greater Boston, will either donate 100 percent of the sales of one dessert or half of all proceeds from the dessert menu to support breast cancer care and research. Proceeds raised will benefit the nonprofit breast cancer organization Bakes for Breast Cancer, which supports the research of Dr. Rachel Freedman at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
Monday's Wake Up Call comes from the Dana-Farber Marathon Team.
Six years after losing both of her parents to cancer, Emily Rivinius will lace up her sneakers and run 26.2 miles. “My father never wasted a moment of his day, and I have tried to have that mindset through all of this training and fundraising. I just have to do it,” Rivinius said of the 123rd Boston Marathon. Rivinius, 38, of Bedford is running in memory of her parents, Jay and Michelle Driscoll. Her mother died in 2013 after fighting advanced leiomyosarcoma, and her father died six months later, also in 2013, after a battle with multiple myeloma. “They both had this amazing will to live. They were trying to live for us,” said Rivinius, who has two brothers and three children of her own. “We call them the legacy,” she said of her parents’ nine grandchildren.
On June 27, 2018, I lost one of my closest friends, Katie Winter, who battled breast cancer for four years. She had chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, tests, blood drawings, hospital stays, and more. She refused to let cancer control her life, and she was determined that cancer would never win. And it didn’t. Because although she’s no longer here with us, she was so well loved, admired, and respected by so many people, and taught us all so much, that I am determined to ensure her name and story continue to be shared. Her two young daughters need to see that their mom’s story will be told and that the lessons she taught us all will be passed on. We will do whatever we can to end this horrible disease and together, we are all #TeamKatie.
After an 11-year break, I have rejoined the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team in 2019. My parents were both diagnosed with cancer this year and — thanks to Dana-Farber — have both been given the gift of more time with us. My husband’s parents are also Dana Farber patients living each day filled with hope. I have two little boys, and all four of their grandparents are Dana-Farber patients. As much as I need my parents, my boys have a lot of living left to do, and they need their grandparents here for it!
This is me, crying as I finished my first and only marathon. I ran the Boston Marathon in 2016 for Dana-Farber after they had just gotten us through the worst year of our lives. My husband, Ryan, had hurt himself playing hockey and discovered he had osteosarcoma (bone cancer). It hadn’t spread. It meant a year of brutal chemo but then about an 80% chance he’d survive. He was strong and tough and up for the challenge. Two months prior, we took a picture holding a sign that read "Ryan’s last chemo!"
For Chris and Christie Powers, 26.2 miles is nothing. Both are cancer survivors. Chris battled leukemia when he was 13. Christie battled thyroid cancer. Christie was diagnosed just as their son, Danny, was recovering from a brain tumor and had lost her father to colon cancer a few years earlier. It was during Danny's chemotherapy that Christie decided to run her first Boston Marathon for Dana-Farber. "When you go in and see those kids, those families, what they're going through. It's just, it's extremely motivating," said Christie. This will be her seventh year running for Dana Farber. It's number three for Chris. They're running because they survived cancer. They're running because so many don't.
More children every year are participating in the Suffield Pan Mass Challenge Kids Ride to help benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund. In seven years, the ride has welcomed over 1,100 riders and raised over $251,000. This year's ride is scheduled for May 11.
The Boston Marathon has a rich history that countless people have helped form throughout its 122-year existence. This year, two local runners are set to add their own chapters to the beloved event. Salem residents Jenilee Pudas and Nicholas Mosher will be running in next Monday's Boston Marathon to raise money for cancer research through Dana Farber. The 36-year-olds may be seasoned runners now but they were hardly experts in the beginning of their newfound hobby. Mosher, an engineer, initially began running to get in shape. "I really just did it to get in better shape. I started from walking and getting into other exercises to try and burn calories until I was able to start running harder and longer," he said.
For Red Sox fans, Tuesday’s long-awaited home opener at Fenway Park is worth celebrating. The Sox will honor last year’s World Series championship team while starting a new season of Fenway baseball. For Peabody’s Liam Slattery, Boston’s home opener presents a chance to give back to a worthy cause that saved his life. In 2015, Slattery was diagnosed with hepatosplenic T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He was treated at Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic. Now cancer free, Slattery takes pride in paying it forward. “I’m very appreciative of Dana-Farber,” said Slattery, 24. “They saved my life. Whenever they ask me to do anything, I’m willing to do so. Anything they need. I try to stay involved as much as I can to give back a little bit.” Leading up to Tuesday’s home opener, Slattery worked with the Jimmy Fund in spreading the word about “Rally Against Cancer,” and is this year’s “Rally Against Cancer” patient partner.
Kimberly Cramer, of Waltham, joined the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai in 2000, making a promise to herself to do what she could to conquer cancer while keeping the memory of her loved ones by her side. Cramer first joined the walk as a team captain for the company she used to work for, Cambridge Technology Partners. “I even asked our CFO to match the employee donations,” Cramer wrote. “Which he did, so that was pretty awesome.” However, that same year, her commitment to the walk took a personal turn. Cramer’s mother was diagnosed later that year with breast cancer. While she started with walking the half marathon route in 2000, Cramer upped her goal to walk the full marathon in 2005, the year her mother died.