A six-year-old from Westwood will be honored at Fenway Park next month as part of a program associated with the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge.
On Saturday, May 14, a ceremony will welcome Alexandra Kelly, a kindergartener in Westwood, who was recently named a Pedal Partner of the 32nd annual bike race. Kelly will be on hand to inspire more than 5,000 participants in the ride, which spans 190 miles across the state and aims to raise $34 million for cancer care and research.
Kelly was diagnosed with T-Cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in April of last year, and is currently undergoing treatment at Dana-Farber's Jimmy Fund Clinic.
"She's doing well," said Andrea Kelly, Alexandra's mother. "She just passed her year mark of treatment."
As part of the PMC Pedal Partner program, Kelly has been matched with PMC cyclists who will ride in her honor during the race.
"Pedal Partners inspire and motivate PMC riders to train, raise money, and complete the vigorous cycling challenge," Billy Starr, PMC Founder and Executive Director said in a statement. "The program is a special way for us to extend our ride to the children and families who are fighting the battle against cancer. Being connected to the children for whom they are riding and raising money is an emotional and empowering experience for PMC riders."
Andrea Kelly said it was during treatment that the association with the program began.
"We were at the clinic getting treatment and we saw some of the people who run the PMC there, and then they contacted us whether we wanted to be paired up with them," Kelly said, adding that Alexandra is looking forward to the event at Fenway Park. "She's excited; I think she hopes to get on TV."
Kelly has been involved with , Andrea said, but this will be the first time she'll be inspiring a number of cyclists in the larger race.
The May 14 ceremony will welcome PMC cyclists, Pedal Partners and their families to meet for the first time in a large party at Fenway Park. The event will feature discussions, games, and a morning brunch.
During the race, which takes place on August 6 and 7 this year, photographs of Kelly and fellow Pedal Partners will line the routes of the bike race to help motivate the cyclists.
The Kellys are more than welcome to the opportunity, one that Andrea Kelly said is humbling.
"I think it's a great thing that these people do, and the amount of the money they raise for kids and adults, it's just amazing," Kelly said. "Without them, it would be a lot of money that hospitals would a have to raise."
For more on the PMC's Pedal Partner program, click here.