Inspired by the courageous and ongoing cancer battle of family patriarch Tony, six members of Londonderry’s Galluzzo family continue their large clan’s annual fundraising effort to help deal with and hopefully eventually beat the dread disease by taking part in the Pan-Mass Challenge yet again this coming weekend.
Tony’s wife, Donna, can’t remember how many of the 34 PMC’s members of her big brood have ridden in over the years, but she and her kids have never forgotten how important the effort is or lost the drive to head back to the next one.
“My four Galluzzo boys will be riding again this year, and two of my daughters will be volunteering,” said Donna.
Twenty-seven-year-old Anthony and his younger brothers Matt (25), Mike (21), and Dom (19) will be joining nearly 6,000 other cyclists in one of the PMC rides on Aug. 2 and 3 in support of The Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. The Galluzzos have chosen to undertake the 200-mile ride from Sturbridge, Mass., to Provincetown, Mass.
The Galluzzo males’ sisters Kim (23) and Gianna (15) will be among the more than 2,000 volunteers whose efforts make the massive PMC – which is the largest athletic fundraising event in the entire nation – possible year after year.
The PMC is a fully supported bike-a-thon – with food and water stops, mechanical and medical assistance, luggage transportation, and lodging – that runs through 46 towns across Massachusetts. Cyclists choose from 12 routes of varying mileage designed to cater to all levels of cycling strength and time availability.
“Anthony, Matt, Mike, and Dom have been involved in the annual event for multiple years now and they ride in honor of their father, Tony, who has been battling cancer since 1999,” said Donna. “The boys are inspired to ride year after year as they watch the strength and courage in their father and in survivors like him.”
The Galluzzos send out 200 letters to friends in the community each year as they work to gather funds for their PMC effort, and their 2014 goal is to raise $20,000 in donations.
“Most of their donations come from the generous support of their hometown Londonderry community,” said Donna. “The PMC’s current goal is to raise over $40 million this year in hopes that its efforts will aid in research that will assist in developing new and better treatments and ultimately find a cure for this disease that touches so many.”
PMC cyclists range in age from 13 to 90. Some are seasoned tri-athletes while others have trained for this event alone. Many participants ride in honor of a family member or friend lost to, or being treated for, cancer. Since 1980, the Pan-Mass Challenge has raised more than $414 million.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to help the Galluzzo family in its effort should go to PMC.org and search for the local riders through the “donate” link.