Sheryl Arduino Take on the PMC

Christopher Tremblay
Sheryl with her teammates
Issue Date: 
August, 2018
Article Body: 

Many people get involved in the Dana-Farber Pan Mass Challenge because of someone they know has cancer and they’re looking to help. Norwood resident Sheryl Arduino didn’t know of anyone with cancer, nor did she even realize what the PMC was, she stumbled across it by mistake.
“It was about 10 or 12 years ago,” Arduino said. “We had a cottage in Onset and my mother and I decided to take a walk, but when we got uptown, there were a lot of bike riders going by. We stood there to cheer the riders on and eventually I noticed a lot of Dana-Farber shirts, so we decided to make it a year to year event.”
Arduino and her mother found it rather cool to see the appreciation in the rider’s eyes as the people cheered them on and those doing the cheering found what the riders were doing to rid cancer was cool as well. The Arduino’s originally didn’t know any of the riders, but they certainly watched them ride by in awe year after year. Eventually, a group of friends began taking part in the PMC and she was so inspired by what they were doing.
Unfortunately, the ride eventually hit home. In May of 2017, Arduino’s father was diagnosed with Myelofibrosis (bone marrow leukemia) and a month later the family was hit with another cancer finding. Doctors found a second cancer, Urothelial Carcinoma or cancer in the kidney, in the family matriarch; an untreatable cancer.
In February of 2018, Arduino’s father passed away, but six months earlier, in August of 2017, she decided that she was going to ride in the PMC for her father. Friends who had participated in the ride would stay at the Onset cottage during the weekend of the ride, and when Arduino decided to ride she was going to ride with their team (Team WOW). Team WOW does the Wellesley to Provincetown (163 miles), so Arduino decided that’s what she would do.
Now that she was going to commit to biking 163 miles over two days, she had to find a bike as she didn’t own one. Luckily, her friends husband loaned her a bike, and she began training on the month after her father passed away.
“I hadn’t been on a bike since I was 12 years old and when they say it’s easy as riding a bike – it’s not,” Arduino said. “I was really wobbly and having a rough time getting used to it; it’s not as easy as you think. I began taking a spin class, tried to get out on the road every weekend, and then on Father’s Day I rode my first 50 plus mile ride.”
Although she has yet to ride in her first PMC, Arduino has already begun thinking about participating on a yearly basis.
“We’ve met some amazing people along this journey.” Arduino said. “Cancer fighters and their families are a community. I can’t imagine going through this all without the support system we had at every level.”
While there are many options to funnel cancer donations, Arduino prefers the PMC as they give 100% of all riders’ monies to the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber.