Sunday, September 08, 2013

Tom still reminds us of a Reason to Ride

One of my great pleasures when I was CEO of a hospital was to engage in philanthropic efforts by grateful patients who wanted to support the research or clinical activities of the doctor who had served them.  I would offer my personal involvement, and I would also make sure our development office provided planning and on-site support to the events. In my mind, these kinds of events were a symbol of the very human relationships between providers and patients, and I always felt them worthwhile even if they didn't bring in the kind of dollars that one might solicit from major donors.

A prime example of this was an event initiated by Tom DesFosses, a brain cancer survivor.  After finishing his treatment, Tom took a solo bike ride of several hundred miles throughout New England to celebrate.  Then he started up an annual fund-raising event--called A Reason to Ride--to raise money for Dr. Eric Wong's research program.

Back in 2009, I wrote about this ride and quoted Tom:

"For me, this ride will be very emotional, but in another way it will give me incredible joy. It will give me time to reflect on how blessed I am to be a cancer survivor, and to think of others who are not able to join me on this quest. I hope other cyclists will join me on this ride to help raise greatly needed funds for life-saving cancer research."

Each year, dozens of Tom's friends, cancer survivors, and friends of other cancer patients join the ride.  Now, Tom and his crew take total responsibility for planning and running the event.  A stalwart supporter has been Jim Boland, owner and operator of four New England-based Fuddruckers restaurants, seen above at right with Dr. Wong (left) and Tom (middle).

Today's ride was a great success.  We hope to see you next year!

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