Pan Mass Challenge riders greeted by supporters, music in Rochester

Aug 3, 2019

ROCHESTER — Riders in the Pan Mass Challenge made their way through the streets of Rochester as supportive onlookers cheered them on on Saturday, Aug. 3.

The challenge started in 1980, and this year 6,800 riders are participating with the goal of raising a total of $60 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The challenge has several routes ranging from 25 to 192 miles. Riders must raise a minimum amount of money based on the route they select, with the highest amount being $8,000.

“Every one of these people is riding for me,” said Paul Bourdeaux as he watched riders pedal through his hometown of Rochester. Bordeaux has had kidney cancer for seven years, and said that he has personally benefited from the money raised for cancer research in previous years. 

For the last 12 weeks Bordeaux has been taking a medicine called “cabometyx.” In that time, he said that his tumors have shrunk by 50%.

Bourdeaux said that the medication was FDA-approved with help from the Dana-Farber Institute. 

The Rochester resident was accompanied by his wife Dot, as the two waited to cheer on his oncologist Toni Choueiri, and other friends and medical professionals who were participating in the challenge.

For three years, 11-year-old Jaime Jardin has played saxophone to cheer on riders in the Pan Mass Challenge. This year he was accompanied by family and neighbors outside of his High Street home. His grandmother, Celeste Duarte, accompanied his musical performance with a vuvuzela, a plastic horn common in soccer games in South Africa.

Jardin said that he started playing saxophone during the ride because he “wanted to support the people riding and have fun too.”

Mattapoisett’s Kim DeLeo, Heather Hobler, and Lisa Winsor, Marion’s  Bob Holmes and Bill Tilden and Rochester’s Debora Bacchiocchi, Sarah Bernier, Thomas Kennedy, Sheila Kozlowski, Andrew Revell and Kyle Letendre are participating in the Pan Mass Challenge this year.