Today, the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), the world’s single most successful athletic fundraiser, announced its largest gift ever for cancer research, treatment, and care at the world-renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a record-breaking $72 million. This impressive gift will bring the PMC’s total contributions to $972 million since 1980, positioning the organization to cross a monumental $1 billion in cumulative fundraising for the Institute in 2024.

“Our riders continue to expand the very definition of what a bike-a-thon, and a bicycle, was really meant to do! Their support of the PMC and Dana-Farber is unwavering,” said Billy Starr, PMC founder and executive director. "The impact this year’s gift has is unparalleled and, as we head towards $1 billion cumulatively raised, this is a proud moment to celebrate the progress that has been made in the fight against cancer thanks in large part to PMC fundraising efforts.”

When the PMC began in 1980, the five-year relative survival rate for cancer was 50 percent, and today, it’s more than 65 percent. The organization continues to make a profound difference in the lives of patients worldwide, thanks to advances enabled by its robust support of cancer research, treatment, and care at Dana-Farber. In recent years, PMC funding has played a key role in enhancing early detection – for example, Dana-Farber scientists developed new blood tests that precisely detect tumor DNA in Wilms tumor, a rare pediatric kidney cancer, and in recurrent HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancer, a major advancement in finding these cancers early.

This year’s $72 million gift was revealed during a celebratory brunch for riders, volunteers, donors, and corporate partners at Legal Harborside in Boston, Massachusetts, on Sunday morning. Notably, and for the 17thconsecutive year, the PMC donated 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar to support the lifesaving mission of Dana-Farber. The PMC remains Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor, accounting for 62 percent of its Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue.

“Year after year, the PMC community’s extraordinary support touches every aspect of our organization from our cancer research to the care we deliver to our patients,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO of Dana-Farber. "As a proud eight-year PMC rider myself, I get to experience the joy of PMC weekend every August and then witness the impact of this extraordinary gift, which is immeasurable to cancer patients both at Dana-Farber and around the world.

In August of this year, 6,500 riders and 3,100 volunteers joined together from across the globe for the 44th, cycling up to 211 miles across the State of Massachusetts to raise this year’s record gift. Looking ahead to 2024, the PMC is eager to reconvene its dedicated community of riders, volunteers, donors, and corporate sponsors to not only raise the fundraising bar for cancer research and treatment once again, but to achieve a significant milestone together: $1 billion contributed to fighting cancer.

This story was published by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on November 13, 2023. It is republished with permission.