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Hundreds Of Cancer Survivors Provide 'Living Proof' At Reimagined Pan-Mass Challenge

BOSTON (CBS) – It is a new road for the Pan-Mass Challenge this summer. For the first time in 40 years there will be no big group ride from Sturbridge to Provincetown. While coronavirus may have stopped the annual two-day bike-a-thon from taking place, it hasn't stopped the mission of funding a cure for cancer.

Thousands of cyclists still plan to clip in, ride, and raise money for Dana-Farber this summer - riders like Harry Carey of Needham.

"At 73, I 'm not as fast as I used to be," Harry noted, but he was quick to join the PMC after his prostate cancer diagnosis in 2005. He has been riding every year since.

"I'm living proof." Living Proof riders and volunteers are a celebrated group of cancer survivors.

"I'm riding so that my kids won't be affected with the same disease that affected me," Harry shared.

Despite that wish, Harry's son, Steve, was treated for the same cancer at just 47 years old. Because of his family history it was caught early. Now both men ride for Harrison, Steve's son and Harry's grandson, hoping that cancer won't touch all three generations.

Pan Mass Challenge Living Proof riders
Harry and Steve Carey are both Living Proof riders at the Pan-Mass Challenge. (WBZ-TV)

This year, a virtual Living Proof toast will be held for the more than 900 cancer survivors who ride and volunteer for the Pan-Mass Challenge. Typically, an in-person toast is held at the end of the first day of riding at Mass Maritime Academy in Bourne.

"There are so many of us. There's proof out there that what we're doing is making a difference," Harry said. "It's emotional. I don't drink that much anymore but I do look forward to that champagne toast during the Living Proof acknowledgement."

They will be raising a glass to survival, the quest for a cure, and the ride that honors both.

Every dollar raised by PMC riders goes directly to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. If you'd like to learn more or make a donation, visit

We hope you'll join us on WBZ-TV and CBSN Boston Friday, July 31st at 7 p.m. for PMC 2020. WBZ is proud to be your official PMC station.

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