WAYLAND (CBS) – With more than 5,800 riders taking part in the Pan-Mass Challenge, one Wayland family stands out for going all in.

David Poorvu’s story has changed since he started riding in the PMC 18 years ago for the exercise. Now, it’s far more meaningful.

He’s riding for Team WOW, Women’s Oncology on Wheels. It’s a thank you to doctors who saved his wife, Nancy.

“There aren’t many things I can do for cancer patients, to help cancer patients. This is one thing I can do,” he said.

It’s been nearly 14 years since Nancy Poorvu was first diagnosed with breast cancer. She spent almost ten years in remission and now lives with a tumor that’s controlled with medication. Nancy is also an eight-year volunteer who calls PMC weekend her “coming out.”

“I’m not someone who goes around all the time saying ‘I have cancer,’ you know. But on that weekend, I am so proud to say to everyone riding, ‘look at me. You’re doing this for people like me. And I’m so thankful and grateful and inspired,’” she explained.

Nancy checks in riders at the finish line in Provincetown, and none are happier to see her than her husband.

“You asked about emotional times,” he said, “it was the first year that Nancy didn’t check me in. It was very emotional to cross the line.”

That was a year Nancy was too sick to volunteer. But most years, the PMC is a family celebration.

Their daughter, Jen, volunteers. Sons, Eli and Phil, ride. And Phil is now doing his residency to become a cancer doctor.

“To see the kids put their emotion into giving back and doing something productive really made me feel incredibly proud of them,” Nancy said.

Most of all, their fundraising would make anyone proud. Since David began riding, the Poorvus have raised almost $500,000.

They say cancer has changed their life, and they celebrate every day of it.

“We just try to really live very fully,” Nancy said.

Online: David Poorvu’s PMC page



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