Every year since 1980, thousands of cyclists have gathered in Massachusetts to ride in the Pan-Mass Challenge. The cyclists help to raise money for cancer research and treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It’s an important event and Dassault Systèmes in North America is proud to have been involved for the past 14 years…since 2002, we have raised over $5.3 million.
This year, we are proud to announce that we had 87 riders and 2 “virtual riders” who so far have raised almost $500,000! You can still make a donation to Team Dassault Systèmes through the end of September by visiting their contribution page. We’d like to thank our inspiring riders, both those who work for the company and those who are simply part of the Dassault Systèmes community. Among the 87 riders on Team 3DS, 64 are business partners, family or friends who share our passion in the fight against cancer. Each rider is driven by their own personal reasons, as everyone has been affected by cancer in one way or another.
Once participant, Eric Leafquist, works as the Senior Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS and has ridden in the Pan-Mass Challenge for 11 years. He shared what the Pan-Mass Challenge means to him and why he is inspired to ride each year:
“The Pan Massachusetts Challenge (PMC) is many things to me. It is more than one event, but has become a year-round energizing endeavor that involves meeting people passionate about beating cancer, along with cycling. Each of the 6,000 participants seems to have their own cancer story. It is amazing to me how so many people can be so focused on ‘the mission,’ with almost none of the riders out for just a weekend ride. If you begin your involvement with the PMC as an individual, most people quickly become acquainted with others with similar stories, biking experiences, backgrounds, bike training interests, fundraising ideas, etc. After your first PMC experience, your New Year’s weekend each year will likely then include considering which PMC route you will tackle that year (in August), you will likely get in contact with your riding buddies, and start planning to ride outside when weather permits. Training often turns into a social event and plans for PMC weekend that can involve some vacation time on Cape Cod after the ride for some. For others who ride in support of family, friends or Pedal Partners currently in cancer treatment, the PMC is great way to ‘do something great’ in support of those patients.
I know this and felt this as I rode the PMC for 9 years during our daughter’s battle with leukemia at The Jimmy Fund Clinic/Dana-Farber, which is the recipient of 100% of all the PMC fundraising. I absorbed all the positive energy of the PMC during the ride the truly felt the support from all the riders as our daughter battled valiantly in her fight. Unfortunately, her version of leukemia was not curable and she passed away in December 2013, after fighting for 10 years. Now, I continue my PMC efforts knowing that more work is still needed in the fight against cancer of all types and I continue to ride and fundraise in recognition of the 10 years of life that The Jimmy Fund/Dana Farber and Erica’s bone marrow donor were able to give Erica, and as a way to continue her fight, and to help work for a cure for all cancers.”
The Dassault Systèmes team rides to support everyone fighting this terrible disease, but there are several individuals close to the Dassault Systèmes family that the team had in mind during their ride. Their stories can be found here.
In addition to our riders, we would like to thank all of our individual contributors as well as a wide range of corporate sponsors, including our Gold Rider sponsors: