Milford graduate in Pan-Mass ride
MILFORD – Each of the more than 6,000 bicyclists who will ride in the Pan-Mass challenge this weekend have their own reasons, and Jenn Dupuis has two: Her grandmother and grandfather both died from cancer – her grandfather from pancreatic cancer at the age of 51 – so she knows the toll the disease takes on families.
Dupuis is a 2014 graduate of Milford High School, where she captained the varsity softball and basketball teams. She will be among 6,500 cyclists who will ride with the collective goal of raising $46 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana- Farber Cancer Institute.
It’s called the largest single athletic fundraising event in the country. Since 1980, the bike-a-thon has raised more than a half-billion dollars for Dana- Farber through the Jimmy Fund, its fundraising arm. It is Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor.
There are 12 different routes that vary in mileage, and Depuis chose the 27-mile Wellesley to Patriots Place route. Riders range from triathletes to weekend warriors.
"Some are survivors," said Dupuis in an email, "some ride for loved ones, and some are even battling cancer themselves."
Cyclists are anywhere between 13 and 84-years-old, and the average one trains for three months, solicits 40 sponsors and raises more than $8,000.
The ride "encompass people with all skills and abilities," said Dupuis, who is studying business management at Southern New Hampshire University. She works at Copper House Tavern in Waltham, Mass., as a restaurant manager and waitress.
"What I always say to myself and new cyclists is that it is a ride, not a race," she said. "I encourage all of you to consider joining the Pan-Mass Challenge next year. I promise the ride will be the most positive event you’ll ever experience in your life."
Every rider has a minimum amount they need to raise – Dupuis’ is $1,000. To make a financial contribution go to http:// profile.pmc.org/JD0473.
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