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.

For more information, connect with #PMC2016 on Facebook, Twitter, Ins­tagram and LinkedIn.