This is my favorite weekend of the year. Schedules get busy, but like Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Pan Mass weekend is permanently etched in my calendar like an immovable object. After 17 years my dedication to the event may seem sufficiently altruistic, but the truth is, I am selfish. This is a weekend I want to hold sacred; I want to keep for myself because I get so much from it. It’s a dedicated time to do something good, to immerse myself, with people I care deeply about to do something for others.
I have a lot to be grateful for this year. We have bought and started renovation on a great new house in a neighborhood we love. Our children are happy, healthy and building their lives. Kristin has moved her office to our new neighborhood in Beacon Hill and her business is thriving. I have recently become a partner of my oldest friend and Spin and Tonics compatriot, Sam Byrne. The reunion of a lifelong friendship for which I am incredibly excited and grateful. Not every year over the last 17 have been so positive. But regardless of whether the year has been up or down, this weekend always centers me, always makes me appreciate everything I have, everything we have. The energy of this weekend is rich with gratitude. The power of 5,000 riders and 4,000 volunteers giving to others and streets lined with grateful bystanders and people impacted by cancer directly touched by the sea of cyclists flowing by. The gratitude washes over you like warm sunshine and I never want to miss it.
Many of you know, in 2007 I rode my first PMC (a 2 day 200 mile ride to support the Dana Farber Cancer Institute) to honor my mother-in-law Jean Sullivan who was taken by leukemia. I was overwhelmed by her bravery in her battle, how she remained positive and fought for every day, despite the gruesome physical and emotional struggles as her body and her life gave way. I wanted to honor her with a statement that said she would not be forgotten and that she would remain with us always. My first Pan Mass was very emotional. The endless stream of cancer survivors on the road with their families cheering us on and saying thank you brought tears to my eyes. I was deeply impacted as to how these brave souls attributed the success of this ride with contributions to their own survival. I decided on that first day that I would commit myself to riding the PMC until I could not ride any longer. At 17 years in, I am still a neophyte. Riders who, touched in the same way, have been doing the PMC since its inception over 40 years ago surround us. After my incredible first experience, my wife, Kristin, and a fantastic group of friends, The Spin and Tonics, who have made this same commitment, have joined me. Thanks to you, with a successful ride this year, The Spin and Tonics will have raised close to $3 million for the Dana Farber Institute.
This year I am riding for my dear friend Rob Dreier’s wife Ginger. Ginger kicked her cancer once and is battling another round. Let’s all bring our positive energy and gratitude to Ginger’s corner to kick cancer’s butt once and for all. For my grandfather Russ, for our friend Danny Mullin, for my crew mate Matt and for my teammates John, Andrew and Mary (three living proof survivors) I will always ride. For you and for me, who right now don’t have cancer trying to crush our lives. I ride. I ride with gratitude and appreciation, this year and every year.
We are incredibly grateful for all your support. 100 percent of every dollar donated supports Dana-Farber’s world-class research and care. If you want to donate this year, please follow the instructions below:
How to Sponsor a Rider in the PMC
There are three ways to make a contribution:
1. Pay online with a credit card by clicking on here.
2. Write a check made out to Pan Mass Challenge and send to:
Scott Paton, 212 Stuart Street,
3. Just comment on this blog post with you email and say “I’m In!” and I will follow up with you to take care of the details!
Scott & Kristin Paton