Bronx man bikes to raise cancer-cure funds

Bronxite Patrick McNierney crosses a bridge on the 192-mile course on the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge bike-a-thon in 2005 to raise money for Jimmy’s Fund, a cancer research and treatment charity. McNierney has participated in the bike-a-thon for the past 13 consecutive years.

The famed Jimmy Fund, a cancer researching foundation started in 1948, will get a boost this August, with a Bronx man leading the charge to find new cures and treatment for the disease.

On August 2 and 3, Patrick McNierney of Riverdale, will ride in the 29th annual Pan-Massachusetts Bike Challenge, the nation’s pioneer charity bike-a-thon that raises more money than any other athletic fundraising event for cancer research and treatment.

McNierney will be among more than 5,500 cyclists who will ride with the collective goal of raising $34 million for adult and pediatric cancer patients.

“I have been a cyclist all of my life,” McNierney stated. “When I was 14-years-old, I placed third in a county cycling contest raising money for the Red Cross.”

The proceeds will go to the Jimmy Fund’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, one of the premier cancer facilities in the country.

“The amazing thing about the PMC challenge is that it is the world’s largest cycling fundraiser,” McNierney continued, “both in terms of people involved and dollars raised.”

McNierney has participated in 13 consecutive PMC Challenge races, since he first heard about the fundraiser from a friend in 1995.

“I have always cycled the flagship route, 192-miles from the foot of the Berkshires in Sturbridge, MA to the tip of Cape Cod at Provincetown,” he explained. 

Other routes exist, for people with all levels of cycling ability and endurance. There are 47-, 84-, 110-, 153-, 163-, and 180-mile routes in the fully supported bike-a-thon to raise money and awareness of those suffering from cancer. 

“Cancer has made an impact on nearly everyone,” said Billy Starr, PMC founder and executive director. “The PMC offers an opportunity to fight back and make a difference in the battle against this devastating disease.”

Since 1980, PMC has raised more than $204 million for cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund.

Last year, McNierney competed in a race that saw the PMC gave 100% of every rider-raised dollar directly to the Jimmy Fund, a rate of fundraising that is nearly unequaled in the $1 billion-per-year athletic fundraising industry.

The PMC generates about 50% of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and is Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor.

During the bike-a-thon, McNierney will be able to enjoy food and water stops, mechanical and medical assistance, luggage transportation, and lodging. The Bronx cyclist, along with all others involved, is required to raise between $1,300 and $4,000, depending on the route chosen, but the average participant raises more than $6,000 for the cause.

“The commitment to the fundraising portion of the PMC journey is a testament to the rider’s dedication to the cause and their belief in the PMC mission,” said the race organizers, in a statement.

For more information, or to make a donation, visit or call 1-800-we-cycle.

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