Westwood Economic Development Officer Chris McKeown will be taking to the roads of Massachusetts this weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday, McKeown will ride in his 28th Pan-Massachusetts Challenge. Last year, he rode in honor of his father, who had been diagnosed at that time with pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, McKeown's father passed away in November 2011 at the age of 82 after a battle with the disease.
"In 2012, I'll ride in honor and memory of my father, Frank," McKeown said in an email to Westwood Patch. "Many PMC riders and volunteers knew my Dad, as he too has been involved for almost three decades. Despite being pretty ill, he made it to this traditional volunteer post in Lakeville last year during the ride. It was a highlight for him in the later stages of his bout with cancer."
McKeown will be joining more than 20 others from Westwood in the ride this weekend. He said his father has provided a sincere inspiration to continue riding after nearly three decades.
"My dad lived a full life, raised eight children, adored his 10 grandchildren and was married to my mom for 54 years," McKeown said. "His passing was surely sad, but it was not a tragedy. The tragedy is that in 2012, a cure for pancreatic cancer remains elusive. Despite the strides made against many forms of cancer during the PMC’s 33 years, pancreatic cancer is an enigma.
As such, McKeown said the fact that medical science hasn't been able to offer much more than improving the quality of life while cancer runs its course is why he and others continue to participate in the PMC.
"It’s said that hope springs eternal," McKeown said. "The spirit and perseverance of the PMC community, combined with the quality of research and treatment at Dana-Farber, ensures that ours’ is not false hope. Finding a cure for pancreatic cancer is only a matter of time."
Those who wish to donate to McKeown's efforts this year can do so by visiting PMC.org/egifts and using the eGift ID "CM007".
Alternatively, donations can also be made out by check to "PMC-Jimmy Fund" and sent to:
70 Lorraine Rd.
Westwood, MA 02090