Since 1980 the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) has raised nearly $800 million for Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund in support of cancer research and treatment and this year Casella Senior Business Manager Erin Banfield was among the nearly 4,000 riders who participated in the two-day bike-a-thon.
Banfield described her first experience riding in the PMC as a grueling test of physical and mental endurance while acknowledging that it was nothing compared to the battles endured by those for whom she rode.
“Like most people, I have a number of very important people in my life that have either battled or are still battling cancer,” Banfield said. “The least I could do is ride for two days and raise some money to support them along their journeys.”
Banfield and her five teammates each traveled close to 200 miles of Massachusetts roadways over 48 hours, riding from Sturbridge to Provincetown, collectively covering 1,152 miles. Among the six-person team, Banfield was one of five first-time riders and was the only woman. While she was uncertain what to expect, it quickly became clear that much like the battle against cancer, it is important to have strong support along the way.
“It was amazing to see how many people came out to support us, no matter the time of day,” Banfield said. “There were always people there to help push us forward, cheering us on, waving signs, and thanking us for supporting their loved ones who are impacted by the disease. Many riders wore photos on their shirts and helmets, and that really motivated us to get up the next hill or through the next segment.”
To date, Banfield has raised more than $10,000, with more than half coming from her colleagues at Casella, and has helped push her team past the $40,000 mark in support of PMC’s overall goal of raising $52 million.
To learn more or to donate in support of Erin’s fundraising efforts please click here.