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Hogans Take On Pan Mass Challenge

Mother and daughter training, fundraising for 190-mile bike-a-thon that benefits cancer treatment and research.

The 190-mile challenge Jennifer and Brigit Hogan have undertaken is astounding. “Daunting” is the word Jennifer uses to describe it.

“When you get to 60 miles, there’s so much pain,” Brigit said Monday from the family’s front step in the highlands. “You just want to stop.”

But they don’t. Driven on by the thought of friends and family members who have survived cancer and those who haven’t, the mother and daughter team keeps riding, training for hours a day over the past few months.

“I just keep thinking of all those people who’ve gone through cancer and survived. What they’ve gone through is 100 percent worse,” Brigit said. “Someone pops into your head and you push through.”

The duo is riding the Pan Mass Challenge, a two-day, 190-mile bike ride that brings together more than 5,000 riders from around the world to cover the distance between Provincetown to Sturbridge to raise funds for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund.

Jennifer has done it once before, in 2007, with husband Jeff Hogan.

“It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had,” she said. “Brigit had heard me talking about it and put out the challenge to me.”

“Mom and I had always talked about doing something together – something big,” Brigit said.

Plus, she had grown up with the ride.

The Pan Mass Challenge passed by the house Jennifer’s mom lived in on Cape Cod, where the family lived when Brigit was young. They would go out on Sunday morning each year, sit on a fence and cheer on the riders as they passed by.

Hundreds of people line the route to cheer, Jennifer said, describing her experience on the ride.

“There are a lot of cancer survivors and kids in treatment,” she explained. “And there are signs that say so-and-so is up ahead and so-and-so is alive because of you.

“And I remember all these signs saying we’re heroes for riding but I always thought the opposite. These people go through treatment and tremendous suffering – they’re really the heroes."

But the ride does save lives. The Pan Mass Challenge is the single largest athletic fundraiser, having raised $338 million for cancer treatment and research since its founding 33 years ago. Riders are required to raise at least $4,300 just to sign up. Jennifer and Brigit have, thanks to many great friends, already done that. Now, they’re looking for $3,000 more in the next two weeks to reach their goal of $13,000.

To do it, Naples Pizza has agreed to hold a PMC fundraising night on Thursday, July 19.  All day, the restaurant will donate a portion of proceeds to support the Hogans.

Brigit said they were amazed the restaurant offered to run the fundraiser all day.

It’s not the only generosity the pair has received. Local businesswoman Joan Valenti got them started with a $5,000 donation. Since then, Brigit said, she likes to kid about asking friends to match it. But, as Jennifer said, every dollar counts.

And some of the donations are in memory of those who have battled cancer, too. Someone recently gave the pair a donation in memory of the late Judge William Wollenberg, who died July 2. Jennifer said she will also be thinking of him as she rides.

To find out more about the Pan Mass Challenge, see its website. To follow Brigit and Jennifer’s progress on Facebook, click here.

The ride runs Aug. 4 and 5.

stephen peterson July 17, 2012 at 05:37 PM
These folks are misguided supporting conventional cancer medicine. Cancer is a sluggish immune system disease, and chemo/radiation/surgury kills the patient more than the cancer does. 97% of chemotherapy treatments is worse than no treatment at all: (2004 in Clinical Oncology, Volume 16, pages 549 -560, paper may be found here http://www.utopiaawaits.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=53&Itemid=2) - would be far more benificial if they bicycled for the american anti-cancer society - http://www.americananticancersociety.com/index2.html - an excellent tutorial can be found here: http://www.beating-cancer-gently.com/sc1.html
Conor G Hogan July 17, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Thank you stephen for your words of wisdom. Patch Commenters really never fail to disappoint.
Lori Fleming July 18, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Wow everyone is entitled to their opinion!!!! I think what the AMAZING Hogan women are doing is awesome. People need hope with what ever they are facing in life. Whether it is facing cancer or just getting through the day. Jen & Brigit are helping to provide some hope to people who are battling cancer. Some of them maybe to the point that hope is all they have. I think we should lend a hand to people like the Hogan girls.We as a community should be finding the good in things & holding hands w/ each other not pushing each other down. I will be rooting them on. I am proud of them & their hard work to help find a cure. YOU GO GIRLS :-)
Jennifer Hogan July 18, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Stephen, I wasn't going to comment but feel I must. Dana Farber is well known as one of the finest cancer research and treatment facilities in the world. The Jimmy Fund as their supporting charity can't be beat - giving 100% of money raised to Dana Farber, no administrative fees. I would not question anyone's choice of treatment for this horrible disease, each person with their doctor/caregivers makes a hopefully informed choice. I've watched family and friends fight, some successfully, others sadly not and I'll continue to do what I can to work toward a cure and support those I love.
Nancy Swanson July 18, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Hey Hogans,am presently in N. Truro and at almost every store I go to,there is a donation jar by the check-out for this meaningful event. Brickyard Commons is proud of what you are both doing! Nancy Swanson

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