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Dorchester, South Boston youths named 'Pedal Partners' for Pan-Mass Challenge

Posted by Patrick Rosso  May 18, 2012 10:59 AM

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Two brave youths from Dorchester and South Boston will be special guests at Fenway Park on Saturday.

Tim Burke, 12, of South Boston and Erica Walker, 3, of Dorchester are this year’s Pedal Partners at the 33rd annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge.

The youths, both patients at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, will be taking the stage May 19 at the PMC Pedal Partner program kick-off party, where they will meet the cyclists and talk with supporters about their own battles against cancer.

“Pedal Partners inspire and motivate PMC riders to train, raise money, and complete the vigorous cycling challenge,” Billy Starr, PMC founder and executive director, said in a statement. “The Pedal Partner program is a special way for us to extend our ride to the children and families for whom cancer is a daily reality. Being connected to the children for whom they are riding and raising money is an emotional and empowering experience for PMC riders.”

Burke was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2011 and Walker was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumor in 2010. Both are being treated in Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic and will act as an inspiration for the nearly 5,500 cyclists that will take part in the 190-mile challenge, which raises money for the Dana-Farber through its Jimmy Fund.

Posters of the Pedal Partners will be distributed throughout the route to motivate rides and Burke and Walker will also meet-up with riders Aug. 4, at a water stop on the PMC route in Lakeville to cheer on their teams.

The PMC officially starts Aug. 4 and for more information or how to get involved, click here.

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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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