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Demetri, Schaye Ride Pan Mass

Posted by Julie Royster (jroyster) on Aug 10 2007
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Dr. George Demetri, leading clinical GIST researcher, participated as a rider in Dana Farber's classic fundraiser, "The Pan Mass Challenge" (August 4-5, 2007).  Pan Mass is a two-day 190+ mile cycling event in the hills of Massachusetts.

Paul Schaye, an "ironman" who is a GIST patient treated by Dr. Demetri, challenged Demetri to make the ride.  Inspired by Schaye, Demetri rode as part of "Paul's Posse."  You can learn more about Paul Schaye at his blog

Copied below is a letter Dr. Demetri posted to Paul's blog after completing the Pan Mass Challenge...

Dear Pals o' the Posse,

Words can never express for me the experience of riding with you all.  This is not just the "endorphin high" speaking now, either - this PMC was a deeply moving and truly inspiring time.  I never, ever, EVER in a million years thought that I would be able to do more than the distance of the first two water stops along the route on the first day alone!  But the commitment of this Posse in support of Paul gave me new insights into pushing oneself for others.  The energy was awesome (I feel like my mitochondria grew their own mitochondria to provide energy I never thought possible).  Most importantly, I cannot thank enough the elite and highly trained athletes who rode with me, purposefully dropping down MANY notches from their own native pace, to ensure my survival!   Mark Epstein went way above and beyond the call of duty to ride VERY slowly with me the first day and to be reassuring, calm (despite my wanting to bail at the lunch stop after a near-faint), and always supportive.  On day two, everyone seemed to help me out in so many different ways, with my memory especially noting Paul, Chris, Geoff, Carolyn, John, Laura’s unflinching dedication and strength, and the nearly supernatural powers of Ron to help me move up a couple of hills. 

I also cannot say enough about how impressed I am that Gary came from NYC to be a part of all this.  A real testimony to his character, generosity and commitment to Paul as well.

Medicine is, at heart, a service profession, and seeing you all serve Paul as such a wonderful community of family, friends, and colleagues helped me to reconnect on the deepest level possible with that spirit of service. 

The energy of this event has been a transforming experience in the most positive way possible.  The old adage may be overused, but it is nonetheless true:  a small group of committed people can truly change the world.  Let’s keep changing it for the better.  This experience has changed me in such a positive way, and for that I am truly thankful. 

My team at Dana-Farber is already making plans for how they will participate next year.  The first weekend in August is blocked out in my calendar already for 2008 for next year’s PMC – hope to see you all there.

Posse up!

Be well,


Not Too Late to Contribute

All of your donations to Rider Demetri will be earmarked to the GIST research program at Dana Farber, which means this is a unique opportunity to make a difference in funding research for gastrointestinal stromal tumor.

To donate online:  You can make an E-gift to Rider Demetri at the link below.  First, click on "sponsor one rider with one donation."  Please go to and click on SPONSOR ONE RIDER.  You can then donate using the E-Gift ID which is GD0026 (or you can search by name for Demetri, George).

To mail a check:  Please send check made out to PAN MASS CHALLENGE.  In the memo line of your check write "rider #17552-4 (Demetri)."  Mail to the following address:

George D. Demetri, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dana Building, D1212
44 Binney Street
Boston, MA USA 02115

You can learn more about the Pan Mass Challenge here:

A few years ago Maura Cesarini's husband rode in the Pan Mass Challenge, and his collected donations were very helpful to GIST research.

Dr. Demetri says: "Better than a bake sale to support Cancer Research"

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Members of our Community,

I am hoping you will support a wonderful effort.  In honor of many patients, families, and loved ones, I have chosen to ride in the Pan Mass Challenge this year.  The Pan Mass Challenge is a 2-day, 192 mile bike ride across Massachusetts .  I am riding with thousands of others, and I was drawn to ride this year by a patient of mine, Paul Schaye, who is living a full and complete life while managing to keep in check his metastatic GastroIntestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) with a "smart drug" that selectively inhibits the short circuits that cause these cells to turn cancerous.

 Paul's story has been profiled on the front page of the Wall Street Journal You can also learn more about Paul's Posse by going to  It is deeply inspiring to ride alongside patients such as Paul whose lives are saved by recent advances in cancer research.  But we all know that there is still much work to be done to translate the fundamental scientific advances of the past 50 years into effective new therapies.   This can only happen with a great deal of generous support from the public.  Government funding for cancer research has been decreasing dramatically, just when our field has the most promising tools ever available to make a real difference.

I would greatly appreciate your support of these important efforts to move our field forward and to help patients worldwide.  Your tax-deductible contribution of any amount will help to provide support that will enable research that might not otherwise become a reality. 
Every contribution, whether $20, $200, $2000, $20,000 or more (if you are able to put more zeros onto a contribution, please contact me and we will talk!), will fund important new efforts in our cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Please go to to learn more about the Pan Mass Challenge and to make an online donation via the E-Gift system, where you can donate to rider #17552-4 (Demetri).

Thank you in advance for your consideration.


Last changed: Aug 10 2007 at 9:33 AM


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