Sunday, August 3, 2008

Riders Biking for Cancer Research, Granddaughter

Pan-Massachusetts Challenge 2007 cyclistsThis is the fifth year the Christiansburg couple will ride in the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge

Right, riders gather at the 2007 Pan-Massachusetts Challenge. One Christiansburg (Va.) couple traveled to New England this weekend to participate in this event again. Photo courtesy


CHRISTIANSBURG — Two Christiansburg residents are riding with more than 5,500 other cyclists in the most lucrative athletic fundraising event in the country this weekend at the 29th annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge to help raise their share of $34 million for the Jimmy Fund, the fundraising arm of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Brian Atkinson, 64, and his wife, Sylvia, 63, are riding in the PMC for the fifth consecutive year. They started riding in the challenge in honor of their granddaughter, Melanie McDaniel, of Londonderry, N.H., who was diagnosed with brain cancer as an infant. The girl was supposed to be dead at 9 months old with an incurable tumor, but an experimental therapy helped save her life.

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