First Time

We always remember our “first time” – right? Do you remember your first date, first kiss, first bike ride, first time attending a friend or family member’s funeral?

I have a strong first time memory of the day I decided to ride in the Pan Mass Challenge (PMC). My father, Marcel Gagnon, had passed away from esophageal cancer in March 1998. In June, I received my friend, Bud Dodge’s annual PMC fundraising letter (2011 represents Bud’s 20th year!). Upon receiving his creatively written request I immediately picked up the phone and with heart pounding and wet eyes I told Bud that he was going to lose a contributor next year as I would be joining him. We spoke for another 30+ minutes on the pain of experiencing cancer and the passion that is the PMC. After hanging up the phone in a silent house, tears fell and I spoke to my dad, telling him how much I loved him and missed him.  I probably could have went out the door immediately and ridden the 200 mile PMC course. I annually supported Bud’s ride with a donation as I believed in the cause, but now it was personal.

When was the first time you encountered cancer?

PMC 2011

Please sponsor my 2011 Pan Mass Challenge Ride to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Click on the link to contribute –

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Filed under Bike, Health & Fitness, Life, PMC

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