It was three dollars. Yet it means as much to me as any donation received so far. You see, the $3 was from my then 7-year-old daughter. It represented 50 percent of her life savings (thankfully, she’s unaware of what we have been putting away for her).
The donation conversation occurred over breakfast. Actually her breakfast, which consists of me making lunch while she eats and then sitting at my laptop and trying to get some work done while she tries to make conversation and delay her morning shower. On that day, I was all ears.
“Dad, I’ve got $6 in my piggy bank. I’d like to give you $3 for your ride.”
Giving her a hug, “Ah, Sophia, that’s sweet, but I don’t’ want to take your money.”
“But, Dad, does doing the ride make you happy?”
“Yes, it does.”
“Then I want you to have it.”
Another proud hug followed. “You hang on to your money and I will let you know when I’m ready for it.”
What’s always amazed me about Sophia is she gets it—without even knowing she gets it. Doing the Pan Mass Challenge is a lot of work to train and raise funds. Yet it really is a gift to yourself as each donation that comes in brings smile to my face and tears to my eyes. Each one. That’s why I’m delaying acceptance of Sophia’s $3 until it puts me over my minimum of $3200.
I find it rather ironic that she wants to contribute to a cause to cure a disease she knows very little about. I’m sure she’s heard it mentioned around the house, on television or at school. Yet she does not know how closely it has touched her life. In fact soon, I’m not sure how soon, she will know plenty about it. There are people in her life that have this insipid disease and she is unaware of that fact. For now, she just wants to help Daddy, but she will really be helping them.
As a writer, I loathe use of profanity and vulgarity in print. Most of the time, it is completely unnecessary and can be said a better and more inventive way. Yet there is no getting around this and sugar-coating what cancer does. As my Millis neighborhood friend Donna Dwyer put it, “cancer sucks!”
She knows firsthand having lost her 20-year-old niece to it a few years ago. That’s why even though she’s a single mom working several jobs to put her daughter through college, she was one of the first to donate to my ride. Thank you, Donna.
We all know somebody who has cancer or succumbed to it. The Pan Mass Challenge is about them, not the people riding in it. That’s why 100 percent of the donations raised by riders goes to the Jimmy Fund/Dana Farber. That’s right, 100 percent!
It’s a cliché to say that every little bit helps. But it is true. The $3 my daughter will donate is going to prove that. And who’s to say that little amount of money doesn’t lead to the research that finally puts an end to cancer?
The one thing doing this ride has taught me is do not say anything is impossible. You will be proven wrong.
If you want to give, you can go to my online site or mail a check written out to Pan Mass Challenge and mail it to me at: Joe D’Eramo, 111 Kathleen Drive. Plymouth ,MA.
Now, I’m off to train. Got to go earn my $3.