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Cancer Survivor Rides Pan-Mass Challenge As ‘Living Proof’ Of Research’s Impact

BOSTON (CBS) — The first weekend in August, more than 6,000 cyclists will ride in the Pan-Mass Challenge. The mission of the ride is to fund the cure for cancer.

It’s a deeply personal goal for the hundreds of cancer survivors who will also ride.

trish training Cancer Survivor Rides Pan Mass Challenge As Living Proof Of Researchs Impact

Cancer survivor Trish Haskins trains for the PMC. (WBZ-TV)

“This year will be my seventh year doing the PMC,” says Trish Haskins, who first took on the PMC in 2005. “My mother had been diagnosed with lung cancer a few years before, and then in 2005 on March 29, she passed away.”

The loss of her mom inspired her to make that first ride, “just to have that small way to, sort of, give back and help try to find a cure.”

trish mom Cancer Survivor Rides Pan Mass Challenge As Living Proof Of Researchs Impact

Trish’s mother, who passed away in 2005 after a fight with breast cancer. (WBZ-TV)

Ten years, a marriage, and two kids later, Trish had a new and unexpected reason to get back on the bike.

“I was then diagnosed with breast cancer in October of 2015, and I knew that I was going to do the Pan-Mass Challenge in August 2016, and I did,” she said.

trish pmc Cancer Survivor Rides Pan Mass Challenge As Living Proof Of Researchs Impact

Trish Haskins. (WBZ-TV)

It was an incredible goal, achieved just a few short weeks after finishing up treatments.

Trish is now part of a celebrated group of PMC riders called “Living Proof.” They are all survivors or cancer patients undergoing treatment who are the best examples of the incredible advances that have been made in cancer care.

trish last chemo Cancer Survivor Rides Pan Mass Challenge As Living Proof Of Researchs Impact

Trish was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. (WBZ-TV)

Trish was among the Living Proof riders honored at Fenway Park for PMC day in June.

“It’s like you’re Big Papi for a minute,” she said.

It was a ride she’ll never forget.

trish fenway Cancer Survivor Rides Pan Mass Challenge As Living Proof Of Researchs Impact

Trish was one of several riders honored at Fenway Park. (WBZ-TV)

“Just to have everyone waving and cheering,” she said, “it’s just unbelievable.”

Trish says her family and friends made all the difference in her recovery. But her wife, Karen, tells us Trish was the real inspiration.

“I continue to be just really inspired and overwhelmed by watching her go through it and the courage and the strength that you’ve exhibited,” Karen said.

trish and karen Cancer Survivor Rides Pan Mass Challenge As Living Proof Of Researchs Impact

Trish with her wife, Karen, and their son. (WBZ-TV)

It’s been a courageous cancer fight–one that Trish hopes will send a powerful message to others facing the same battle.

“For me, to be able to be that person to give back to Dana Farber, to do the PMC, which is so special, and to be Living Proof, to show other people going through it that you can get through this” is what means a lot to her, Trish said.

This year, there are a total of 850 Living Proof riders and volunteers taking part in the PMC.

If you’d like to learn more about the PMC or support a rider, click here–and to support Trish’s PMC ride, click here.

Every rider-raised dollar is donated to Dana Farber Cancer Institute for cancer research and treatment.

WBZ is proud to be your official PMC station. Join us for the PMC Opening Ceremonies live from Sturbridge on Friday, August 4 at 7 p.m. and live coverage of the ride on August 5 & 6.

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