We are riding for Paul who has cancer, and for the record, he says it sucks, and just in case you had any doubt, he plans on fighting and he's going to win.
It’s not easy to talk about and even harder to write about having cancer. Cancer is something other people get. Paul rides bikes and does triathlons, raises money for cancer, he shouldn't have cancer, but he does.
One of the reasons that writing is so difficult is that it makes things so much more official and concrete and, between us girls, he would prefer if "his cancer" wasn't either of those things. But it is, so he has no choice and must talk about it, and he recommends the same to you if, God forbid, you ever find yourself in the same position.
Talking about it is how he found the best doctors in the country for this specific cancer, and how he learned about treatment options and what he should and shouldn't be doing. Talking about it is also how we are going to get you to help, get you to support Paul's Posse in the fight against a cancer called "GIST".
Paul learned those initials and what they stand for, Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor, October 2006. This new chapter in his life began when his doctor called Paul and said, he saw something on his liver and he was not happy about it.
It was the telephone call that no one ever wants to get, the call that changes everything, the call that literally redefines your life.
The call led to an appointment, which led to a test and then a scan, which led to more calls, appointments, tests and scans, and when the dust settled, around 72 hours after the original call, he got the verdict.
Stage IV stomach cancer that had spread to his liver.
Numerous calls appointments and questions later, he started treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering & Dana Farber. Believe it or not, his diagnosis was, relatively speaking, good news. As cancers go, GIST is more treatable than Pancreatic or Liver cancer, and is less deadly than Lung cancer. The bad news was the fact that it has already spread.
Pretty much regardless of other issues, the initial treatment for GIST is a drug called Gleevec, which does not "cure" this, but will buy him time, hopefully until a cure comes along. However, the longer term prognosis isn’t good. It’s an event he didn’t sign up for, something he’ll battle like anything else in his life.
In November 2007, Paul had major surgery to remove the tumors from his liver and stomach. For Paul, being hospitalized for two weeks, and subsequent 6 weeks bed rest, was trying to say the least. Now all is well. He's now back in training and has great news. He had a PT/CT scan and they saw no evidence of disease! Nada, Nothing, Zilch. We are all very grateful. He will continue taking chemotherapy as a preventative measure, and be monitored. Overall, he's a very lucky guy and is Thriving,
For the past 18 years Paul has participated in the Pan-Mass Challenge, a two-day, 192-mile cycling event that raises money in support of the Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The Pan-Mass Challenge has grown tremendously over time, and raised over $35 million last year, bringing their all time total to more than $500 million.
Now that Paul is a cancer thriver, the 2016 Pan-Mass Challenge will be more meaningful than ever for him. In the past, he always rode to help raise money for cancer research, but he never imagined he would ride as a possible beneficiary of that research. So on Aug. 3rd, he will start his 19th Pan Mass challenge. It is going to be harder because of his illness and treatment, but he is going to do it.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more worthy organization. Since its inception in 1980, the PMC has contributed more than $500 million and has a 2016 goal of $46 million. 100 percent of all funds raised by PMC riders goes directly to the Jimmy Fund. The PMC is considered one of the leanest fundraising operations in the nation today!
All the money Paul's Posse raises goes directly to support the research of Dr. George D. Demetri, the world’s leading authority on GIST, the type of cancerous tumor that found its way into Paul’s body. As of August 2015, the Posse’s eight-year total is now more than $2 million.
Paul has taken this challenge seriously for these past years, and we can tell you that now more than ever he wants to be a part of the effort to search for a solution. He hopes you do, too. All we are asking from you is to ride along side of us in spirit, and in hope, by making a pledge to this cause.
We truly believe somewhere along the road between Sturbridge and Provincetown lies a cure for cancer, maybe even for Paul. You can help us find it and make a donation.
Thanks for joining the battle.
Your tax-deductible donation can be made online at PMC Egift. If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.