Carlos Briceno, 7, of Roslindale, has been named a Pedal Partner of the 33rd annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge and will be honored on May 19 at Fenway Park during the program’s kick-off party.
The second-grader, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2010 and is being treated in Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic, has been matched with a team of cyclists who will ride in the August 4 event in his honor. He and his family will meet them for the first time at Fenway Park.
The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge is an annual bike-a-thon where cyclists ride up to 190 miles across Massachusetts to raise money for cancer research. The Pedal Partner program, now in its 12th year, matches Jimmy Fund Clinic patients with cyclists.
Carlos' mother, Karla Arias, said her son, who is undergoing weekly chemotherapy while still attending school at the Hernandez K-8, is really looking forward to both the Fenway event and the challenge.
“He thinks he is going out and cycling,” chuckled Arias, who said Carlos loves to bike and sing.
“Pedal Partners inspire and motivate riders to train, raise money, and complete the vigorous cycling challenge,” says Billy Starr, founder and executive director. “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 riders.”
During the weekend event, cyclists are greeted by poster-sized photographs of the Pedal Partners, lined up along the road as inspiration. In addition, many Pedal Partners and their families gather at a water stop on the route to cheer on their teams.
Arias said she and Carlos would be there if he is feeling up to it.