The good news is that I completed the 192 mile Pan Mass Challenge. It wasn't a race, but it wasn't just any ride, either. After being off the bike for 2 years, it was beyond exhilarating to cross the finish line.
Now, the Great News.
With my friend’s support, Paul's Posse has raised in excess of $210,000 this year, bringing the Posse's cumulative total over the past six years to more than $1.8 million. REMARKABLE! As a reminder, 100% of the monies we raise go to fund research under the direction of my friend and GIST-focused physician Dr. George Demetri, who specializes in orphan cancers like mine at Dana-Farber. George, his daughter Leah, and others from the Dana-Farber GIST and Sarcoma Center once again rode with us; in addition, we were fortunate to have Dr. Gary Schwartz, Chief of the Sarcoma and Melanoma Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and his wife "posse up" and ride with Paul’s Posse this year. Sharing the road revealed another thing they have in common: a deep unwavering commitment to fighting and curing cancer. They are both excited to collaborate and strengthen the bond formed at the PMC.
The funds raised from Paul’s Posse have enabled George’s team at Dana-Farber to pioneer completely new ways of studying GIST. They are developing new laboratory models which are helping to explain why cancers such as GIST develop resistance to Gleevec or other "targeted therapy." Most exciting, the Dana-Farber team has been
able to leverage this knowledge into a groundbreaking new example of how effectively academic researchers can collaborate with industry to accelerate new drug development for GIST. On the basis of this work with Bayer Oncology, Dana-Farber investigators have completed worldwide clinical testing of a new "targeted therapy" pill called Regorafenib to combat GIST (my specific cancer); this work was submitted to the FDA at the end of August 2012 for their review, which could hopefully bring a third approved drug for my GIST if one becomes resistant to the two approved drugs, Gleevec and Sutent.
I am thankful for my friends support -- and generosity --for an event that means more and more to me every year. The thrill of getting on the bike and finishing is matched only by my gratitude.