PROVINCETOWN, MA -- The 32 cyclists that comprised the Boston Bruins Foundation Bike Team participated in the Pan-Mass Challenge for a number of reasons. Above all else, they were motivated by their desires to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in its effort to combat cancer.
One team member, Brian Hussey, knew that battle far too well.
“I actually was diagnosed six years ago,” he revealed Friday before the team took off from TD Garden. “When I started I was actually undergoing treatment in my first year.”
Hussey was one of over 300 “living proof” riders that were cancer patients or survivors. So as the sun beat down and the mileage added up, he kept pedaling for both his BBF teammates and this larger community of cyclists as well.
“It’s fantastic,” Hussey said Sunday morning from Mass Maritime Academy as he prepared to tackle the second leg of the 192-mile trek. “Usually each one of the living proof has a button on so you see them as you’re passing… and it’s great because you get to say hello.
“Then last night coming back here, and taking the living proof photo, and getting together with about a couple hundred of us sitting underneath the flagpole,” he added. “Plus you have everybody on the sideline that’s always cheering you on too.”
Crowds of fans, cancer patients and their families lined the sides of the roads with signs and cheers of encouragement. Hussey also has someone else’s support in his corner, his fiancé and fellow BBF team member, Kymberly Love.
“Riding beside the fiancé is absolutely fantastic,” Hussey said. “I actually met her while I was finishing up my treatment and as soon as I told her my story and what I’m doing she was on board so we’ve been riding ever since.
“It’s been fantastic and we’re getting married!”
Hussey has participated in PMC for six years and Love has been at his side since she first volunteered for the weekend.
“I’m a little more nervous being on this team keeping up.” Love said of their first ride sporting the spoked-B. “We’ve been doing pretty well, we train pretty hard every year we ride together,”
“We’ll power through it especially with these guys behind me,” Hussey added “As long as we stay together we should be good.”
And together they were, as 18 Black & Gold jerseys crossed the finish line as one in Provincetown on Sunday afternoon.