FRAMINGHAM – Team Kermit and its 62 members, including Patty Hebert and Prajna Dostie, will participate in the Pan Mass Challenge on Friday, August 4.
Sitting in the quiet Starbucks on Route 9, both Patty and Pranya poured their hearts out openly and honestly, sharing what the Pan Mass Challenge means to them. Cancer has heavily impacted both of the women’s lives, though each of their experiences are unique. Tears were shed and stories were told. But hope was also present during that conversation, as two determined and selfless women discussed their road to preparing for PMC.
Hebert’s father was diagnosed with bladder cancer a few years back. Though his road to recovery was hard for the whole family, his most recent scan was declared clean.
Dostie’s mother, Linda, is currently battling Leukemia. At 85 years old, she is receiving treatment at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dostie said that despite everything her mother is going through, she still “has the biggest heart and so much love to give.”
Dostie described her experience with the individuals at Dana Farber, including Dr. Marlise Luskin, as nothing but positive. “Everything [at the institute] is set up for people to be at ease,” said Dostie. From the valet parking with the same familiar faces greeting her family at each visit, to the peace gardens on the third floor of the building, she is grateful for the service that Dana Farber is providing for her mother and her family as well.
Dana Farber Cancer Institute is the company for which PMC raises money. In fact, according to their website, Pan Mass Challenge is Dana Farber’s single largest contributor. Last year, they raised over $47 million.
This year marks Hebert’s second Pan Mass Challenge and Dostie’s first.
Believe it or not, these two women have not been riding their whole lives. In fact, their biking journeys began about 8 years ago. The inseparable pair described how they have seen one another grow as athletes and individuals from riding, as well as sharing that it has also helped boost their confidence levels.
They started riding together while participating in the Boston Brain Tumor Ride. The ride, which takes place every year during the third week of May, has been an event that the two women have participated in for about seven years now. The ride was set up to raise money for individuals suffering from brain tumors.
When asked about their preparation for the ride, Hebert shared that you “ride the ride you train for,” and said that she felt she is “a social rider.” Both women described their enjoyment of the camaraderie of fellow riders. They learn so much about other individuals and their stories, on their team as well as other teams, through the ride.
PMC is expected to have about 10,000 attendees on Friday, 6,000 of whom will be riders, and 4,000 of whom will be volunteers. PMC hopes to surpass their impressive proceeds from last year.
Hebert and Dostie both agreed that they ride in PMC as a means of gratitude, saying that it is “about saying thank you.” According to Dostie, “the more you give, the more you receive,” which includes giving back to the community and the cancer institutes for all of their hard work. These two incredible women will take on the ride that runs through 46 towns in Massachusetts starting on Friday, August 2. If you know anyone riding, please wish them good luck on their heartfelt ride this weekend.