BOSTON, Dec. 7, 2020 —Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a world leader in adult and pediatric cancer treatment and research, today received a generous $50 million gift from the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC). This impressive gift exceeded fundraising expectations that were impacted when the pandemic hit and brings the organization’s total contributions in the fight against cancer to more than three quarters of a billion dollars since 1980. One hundred percent of this meaningful gift will support the lifesaving mission of Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund, including immediate patient care needs, breakthrough discoveries and COVID-19-related cancer research. The PMC is the nation’s most successful single-event athletic fundraiser and Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor, accounting for more than 64 percent of its Jimmy Fund’s revenue.
Unable to move forward with its traditional ride this year, PMC 2020 Reimagined was designed to encourage riders to move forward with individual activities on or off the bike, emphasizing their commitment to supporting Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund during these unprecedented times. While other peer-to-peer fundraisers struggled to convert in-person events to virtual fundraisers, PMC 2020 Reimagined was incredibly successful, generating the highest event weekend fundraising results the PMC has ever experienced – $4 million from July 31 – August 3. This year’s $50 million gift includes $4 million of funding that was fast-tracked to Dana-Farber in May to kick start its COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for patients and their families, as well as approximately $8 million in major gifts from donors who were inspired by the PMC community and recognize the critical need for cancer funding during the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to many aspects of our daily lives this year – but cancer stops for nothing, and the PMC refuses to stop either,” said PMC founder and executive director Billy Starr. “I am incredibly proud of our community’s resiliency and dedication to our mission, which resulted in a very impactful $50 million gift that will support lifesaving cancer research and treatment as we continue to navigate this public health crisis.”
Thanks in large part to PMC funding, Dana-Farber is one of the only cancer centers that was not forced to suspend clinical trials during the pandemic, ensuring the advancement of critical oncology research. PMC funding also helped Dana-Farber efficiently transition to telemedicine and invest heavily in patient and visitor safety protocols as COVID-19 continued.
“This year more than ever, I am extremely grateful for the unwavering commitment from the Pan-Mass Challenge and its riders, volunteers and donors,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO of Dana-Farber. “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unexpected challenges for the cancer community and this incredibly generous gift will make an unparalleled impact on our work in the fight against cancer.”
More than 9,600 participated in the summer-long PMC 2020 Reimagined campaign, creatively reimagining their PMC ride while adhering to local public health recommendations and engaging with more than 13 hours of livestreamed video content. PMC 2020 Reimagined brought to life beloved aspects of a traditional PMC weekend digitally, including a special toast where hundreds of cancer patients and survivors – considered “Living Proof” of the organization’s mission to help fund lifesaving cancer research and treatment – came together via video chat to celebrate life and the progress that had been made in the fight against cancer.
The PMC is presented by the Red Sox Foundation. In addition, more than 200 corporate sponsors support the event by providing more than $7 million in essential funds, products and services each year.