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PEDALING FOR A CURE FOR CANCER. We ride because we can. We ride for those who can not. We ride because the training rides and the 192 miles on the two days of the Pan Massachusetts Challenge (PMC) are nothing compared to living with or dying from cancer.

Click here to make a donation to our team:

Blood Centers Have Constant Need For Life-Saving Platelet Donations. Watch the Patriots Platelet Pedalers in action at the Kraft Family Donor Center.

Click here for information on donating platelets at the Kraft Family Donor Center.
or call 617-632-3206.

02-12-2017 KFBDC Donor Recognition Brunch - Keynote by Dr. Ken Anderson and our host, Dan Kraft.

Susan & Richard's Story

In 2005 my husband (Richard) was diagnosis with T-cell Lymphoma, after receiving rounds of chemotherapy treatments here in Rhode Island that were unsuccessful we turned to Dana Farber for help.

Our meeting with Dr. Corey Cutler, MD, MPH, FRCP at Dana Farber suggested that Richard was a candidate for a stem cell (allogeneric) transplant. He gave us hope. Upon living in isolation with Richard for 6 months during his transplant was difficult for both of us. Every trip from Riverside, Rhode Island was worth it. Knowing that the stem cell transplant did something to his bone marrow, he was in remission!! I would sit in clinic watching all the patients that were being treated for some type of cancer and say to myself this isn’t fair. We need to find a cure!

During the time of my husband treatments I would ride my bicycle to cope with his disease. While going to Dana Farber every month turned into every 3 month and then every 6 months of visits during those times I would see posting all over clinic regarding the Pan Mass Challenge. I would say to my husband I will ride in the PMC someday.

In 2015, I committed myself to ride in my first PMC. I didn’t know what to expect so I registered to ride for the 1 day 25 mile. During training, my husband’s cancer was back as Mylar Dysplastic Syndrome (MDS) we went through 6 rounds of chemotherapy all over again. During his treatments he constantly was receiving platelet transfusions. As a New Englander I love my New England Patriots so one day I picked up the Patriot Weekly and the ad was come join the Patriot Platelet Peddlers and ride in the PMC. What a perfect match as my husband was getting constant transfusions of platelets. So I joined the team. Fundraising began I set my goal for the minimum required I reached it in no time. I increase it and exceed my expectation is support of helping cancer research. I became a Heavy Hitter.

On August 2nd of 2015 I lined up at the start with Dr Mark Andreozzi who originally found my husband’s cancer and Dr Corey Cutler from DFCI whom helped give me 10 more years.

In honor of Richard’s 10 year post transplant not knowing what the day was about to bring. As, we left Babson College and head on the course I rode with a sign on my back saying I am riding for my husband 10 yr post stem cell transplant. I did not know what to expect the adrenaline running through my veins as I rode was pumping. The people on the side of the road with signs saying “Thank you for riding and helping to say a life” touch my heart. When I cross the finish line at Gillette Stadium, it was tears of joy to see my husband sitting there and sharing the moment of completing my 1st PMC.

I am hooked on riding in the PMC to continue to fund research to find a cure. I signed up in January for my 2nd ride I step it up to 50 miles. Wellesley to Wellesley. It may not be long. But right now it’s what I can do.

At the end of August 2015, my husband received word that there was no hope in fighting this disease. With the help of cancer research at Dana Farber we were able to enter into a clinically trial drug. He gained 10 more months. He continued to battle numerous platelet and red blood cells transfusions at Miriam hospital here in Providence, Rhode Island.

On July 16, 2016 Richard lost the fight to cancer. I knew I had to carry out what he had always done in life was to give back. 21 days and counting was the PMC with minimal training, I hopped on my bike and hit the course. A picture of him sailing was on my back, this time the words were “I miss you”. He was my sail that day up every hill, cramping up that I had fallen off my bike a few times. I was ready to quit, but I thought of Richard he never quit!

August 5, 2017, We will take to the streets for my 3rd and final ride together. His initials RAK (Richard Alan Kaplan) on the jersey over my heart. I will smile every time a teammate passes by with those letters and know that Richard has completed the course.

Cancer Causes Complications and with the help of everyone who rides and supports the PMC is helping cancer research to find a cure. I ride because I can and I ride for those who cannot.