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Pan-Mass Challenge riders endure heat to finish two day bike-a-thon, raising millions for cancer research

PMC riders celebrate finish in Provincetown
PMC riders celebrate finish in Provincetown 02:31

WELLESLEY - Riders in the Pan-Mass Challenge bike-a-thon have raised more the $45 million so far this year as the annual ride entered its final stages Sunday.

They pushed past the intense heat this weekend, hoping to a raise a total of $66 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute when it's all over.

Riders who started Sunday in Bourne had 77 miles to go to reach the finish line in Provincetown.

Those who left Babson College in Wellesley around 6 a.m. were riding to complete the "Wellesley Century," a 101-mile loop. Others rode a 50-mile course and some headed to Foxboro.

All of them are raising as much money as they can for Dana-Farber.

"We ride for those we've lost. We ride for those living with cancer and we ride for those who, in the future, this is for the future," rider Martha Gold told WBZ-TV.

Patty McCaffrey and her son Ryan finished their first PMC in Provincetown after volunteering for years. "It was exhausting but every time when we got to a tough part, I thought of him -- my husband who died 14 years ago." 

Patty had her husband's name taped on her back, along with other loved ones still in the fight. 

"We can't do our work without the money, without support, we can't do our trials, we can't do our drug development. None of it happens without the dollars. I've gladly spent $2 million of her dollars and the nice thing is we have things to show for it. That's the difference. I've got drugs that we've gotten approved and we're making a difference," said Dr. Corey Cutler of Dana-Farber.

"This has been such an incredible support for investigators, for our clinicians at Dana-Farber. The cost of delivering cancer care is huge but, also we have so many great ideas to move cancer therapy forward and it's often difficult to find funding for it. When we do find funding, it's often through grants that take a long time to get and when we have a quick idea that may lead to a breakthrough very quickly, having funding from the PMC enables immediate breakthroughs and is just transformative for the fight against cancer," Dr. Benjamin Ebert, the Director of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber, told WBZ.

WBZ-TV's own Lisa Hughes has been riding PMC for years. Her team includes three cancer survivors. "We all come together from different places with different stories but everyone is so focused on that mission of helping Dana Farber and knowing that there's no overhead -- if you give me donation, every single penny of what you donate to this goes to cancer research and treatment -- it's huge," Hughes said. 

There's still time to donate. For more information, visit

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