In 1980 Billy Starr turned his passion for extreme bike rides into a pioneering event supporting cancer research. Starting from his dad's dining room table, Starr built the Pan-Mass Challenge bike-a-thon into the country's most successful athletic fundraiser and legacy-setter in sports philanthropy. In its first 33 years, the PMC raised $375 million for Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, with many of more than 9,000 participants reinvigorating their stake in the forging of new cures. Whether riding as many as 192 miles or helping out at water stops and hubs, PMC participants join a clamorous lovefest of reciprocal giving. Cheered on in small towns and alongside roads winding through Cape Cod, their contributions to the cause often reach extraordinary levels--which are valued more than ever in an era of research funding cutbacks. In 2011-12, a young girl from upstate New York with a rare type of leukemia inspired a riding team to new heights. Adding 184 miles to start from Hannah Hughes's driveway, Team Huckleberry finished four days later climbing the Provincetown dunes. The story of the PMC, a debut work of narrative nfiction by Ken Brack, brings you along for the ride.
Ken Brack is a debut narrative nonfiction author whose key interest is conveying stories of people who transform their ruptured lives into a greater good. Through these experiences readers discover resilience and reclamation, solace, and inspiration. Previously an editor at business publisher Reed Business Information, Brack also reported for newspapers in New England including The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Ma., and the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, Me. He has freelanced for The Boston Sunday Globe West Weekly and also taught high school English for seven years. His blog is http: //www.kenbrack.com, and Brack's LinkedIn profile is: http: //www.linkedin.com/pub/ken-brack/18/15b/b67. Ken and his wife Denise own and operate a bereavement center called Hope Floats Healing and Wellness Center in Kingston, Ma. The nonprofit provides support groups, primarily for adults who experience the loss of a child, a spouse, or partner, as well as providing counseling and wellness programs. (http: //www.hopefloatswellness.com) They created the center in 2008 in memory of their son, Michael Thomas Brack. Brack received a M. Ed., Secondary Education, Curriculum and Instruction, from Northeastern University, and a B.A., English Expository Writing, from the University of Maine. He is a lifelong poet, journaler, organic gardener, a sailor, guitarist and songwriter, longtime landscaper, and a proud father and husband.