PanMass Challenge (PMC)

This is TeamBrent's 20th year ...and the PMC is poised to pass ONE BILLION DOLLARS RAISED for the Dana Farber.   

We are looking forward to TeamBrentWheels August 2024 "Big" PMC ride after the joy of the 2024 Winter Cycle (Spin class @ Fenway Park).  Registration is now open for the September 28 PMC Unpaved, a 30 or 50 mile gravel ride in the beautiful Berkshires.   We are proud to be a part of the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC), the nation's original fundraising bike-a-thon.  The PMC has contributed a whopping 972 million dollars to fight cancer, the largest sum ever contributed to a charity by an athletic fundraising event and positioning the PMC to cross a monumental $1 billion in cumulative fundraising for DFCI in 2024. Donate to our cause - every single cent gets passed on.  

For TeamBrentWheels first PMC in 2005, we had nine riders.  Brent wasn't cheering from Da Hedge or Truro, he was in the hospital having his 2nd bone marrow transplant.  Time has flown by.  TBW has had 155 different riders since then, averaging three PMCs each, including five families of neuroblastoma survivors.  We’ve hitchhiked to the start line, crashed some bikes, doled out advice to Tour de France champions, climbed the Hollands Alps, had more than a few Harpoons and shared a lot of laughs.

The 192 miles  of the PMC are filled with people who line the streets with families and friends, playing music, banging on pots, spraying riders with hoses, and holding signs saying, “I am 11 now because of you.” and “My heart beats because of your feet.”  Their “Thank You” signs really make you understand that what we do makes a difference.  Last year we witnessed a father riding a tandem bike by himself. The seat behind him was empty in honor of his son, lost to cancer.  Then there are the people who stand alone at the side of the road, with nobody else in sight, clapping for hours. That says volumes about how meaningful this event is.  Cancer doesn’t have a chance – each rider, donor and volunteer brings us Closer By the Mile…to a Cure.

The PMC will donate 100% of every rider-raised dollar directly to the cause. That means exactly what it sounds like – if someone gives $40 for the ride, all $40 goes exactly where it should be going – to life saving research to keep people from dying of cancer.  Every single cent to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI).  



Ian Murray, CEO/Co-founder, Vineyard Vines (TeamBrentWheels' PMC jersey sponsor) says "We feel so honored to work with  TeamBrent. It's amazing to see how they've brought the community together."

Billy Starr, Founder/Executive Director, The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge says "TeamBrent typifies how effective a motivated constituency can be when they work together toward a common goal. The team is a fundraising force that has galvanized a township in Connecticut."

Lisa Diller, Clinical Director of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital; Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School says "I am inspired each year when I hear about TeamBrent helping my colleagues and me at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital fight childhood cancer. Please know we appreciate all that you do!"

Roger Haney, Executive Director, TeamBrentWheels says "Being a part of TeamBrentWheels and the PMC is nothing short of amazing. The team is much more than just a group of folks coming together to fight a horrible disease - it has grown into a Big Family that rides hard, laughs harder, and sheds a tear or two. I will always look forward to the first weekend in August."

While overall PMC funds go towards fighting cancer in general at the Dana Farber, TeamBrent’s monies are targeted towards fighting neuroblastoma, the childhood cancer that Brent battled.  We have partnered with Dr.Lisa Diller MD, clinical director and chief medical officer of Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and Suzanne Shusterman, Institute Physician and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School to allocate our donations most effectively.

Neuroblastoma is a disease of young children which requires extremely aggressive therapies to cure.  Around 60% of children with high risk neuroblastoma are cured (a huge improvement from the 15-20% when we started, but horrible nonetheless). 

These numbers are amazing.  The next thought is…with all this money raised….with all the money raised to fight cancer year after year after year by so many sources….why is there still cancer?  Childhood cancer research his notoriously underfunded, and neuroblastoma is rare enough that it is even more so, but the bigger answer is that cancer treatment evolves slowly, with new treatments being researched even as others are newly implemented. 

Team funds have helped create a personalized approach for neuroblastoma patients at DFCI; helped launch a vaccine to fight neuroblastoma; and helped build a dedicated treatment room to deliver targeted MIBG/radiotherapy program to both newly diagnosed and relapsed Neuroblastoma patients - and so much more.  This research team at DFCI/BCH has really made a difference, with hundreds of children being treated thanks to therapies provided by our small team. 

Laurie H. Glimcher, DFCI President and CEO, said “Progress against cancer comes in waves: As new therapies come to the fore, others take shape in the distance. It’s this continuum that makes our work so challenging, and so rewarding.” Look at Brent to see how this holds true for our team.  Brent was treated many years ago with genomics- chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplants.  TBW riders have helped fund immunotherapy treatments (MIGB, GVAX).  Yet even as we further those learnings, we are studying promising epigenetics treatments (ANTI-GD2, MYCN, TRK).

Brent is disease free but the fight goes on.  We ride for our nine Pedal Partner neuroblastoma survivors –  living proof that your efforts make a difference.

We ride for Brent, Sean, Max, Maggie, Brady, Erik, Mason, Weston and Jace.  It matters.

That's the nuts and bolts of it - want to learn more? Contact Dana for more details.