By Lisa Hughes


BOSTON (CBS) — At a time of great uncertainty, it is clear that the bond between the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) and Dana Farber Cancer Institute has never been stronger.

Dana Farber is caring for cancer patients who, because of their compromised immunity, are among the people most vulnerable to COVID-19.

The institute is taking extra precautions to ensure patient safety while offering more virtual visits and telemedicine appointments. To support those efforts, the PMC is rallying riders and donors to raise $4 million for a new Emergency Response Fund at Dana Farber.

Riders who registered for the 2020 PMC received a video from PMC founder and executive director Billy Starr spelling out the urgency of the fundraising push and the goal of presenting a $4 million check by May 1.

“I ask you,” Starr urges in the video, “if you think you can, to begin your fundraising efforts now.”

Last year’s PMC bike-a-thon raised a record $63 million for patient care and research at Dana Farber. The ride, which took place the first weekend in August, drew 6,000 cyclists to the roads of Massachusetts. It is the nation’s most successful athletic fundraiser.

For perspective, unrestricted PMC funding represents nearly 60% of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and 20% of the revenue for the entire institute. Every cent of every rider-raised dollar goes directly to Dana Farber.

Dana Farber Senior Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer Melany Duval said the hospital could not be more grateful for its partnership with the PMC and the support riders are promising now.

“We want to thank the PMC for supporting us in this extraordinary time…The riders and supporters need to know they are supporting our mission, which is unwavering. They are making an immediate impact.”

WBZ is proud to serve as the PMC’s media partner. To donate, visit their website.

Lisa Hughes

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