GREENFIELD — On Aug. 21, 180 bicyclists, runners, and walkers gathered for the ninth annual Wheeling for Healing ride, walk, and run event to support cancer care and services at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. The event, which is centered at Greenfield Community College, sent bicyclists through rural Greenfield and surrounding communities, on 10-, 25- and 50-mile rides. Runners and walkers enjoyed a 5k course around the college and into the adjoining neighborhood.
Proceeds from Wheeling for Healing events are used to purchase medical equipment and comfort items for patients undergoing chemotherapy at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. Wheeling for Healing proceeds have also assisted patients with extraordinary expenses associated with their illness, including medicines not covered by their insurance.
“Thanks to the wonderful fund-raising efforts from our community and support from our sponsors, we were able to raise over $46,500 this year, bringing our total funds raised for Baystate Franklin Medical Center Oncology to over $286,000,” said Kathy Tobin, director, Annual Giving & Events, Baystate Health Foundation. “A special congratulations to our top three fund-raising teams: Cheryl’s Walkers, Team Ursula, and Team Bulkley, Richardson, and Gelinas.”
Congratulating participants on the success of the event, Tobin continued, “as it is to most of you, cancer care is very personal to me. I have great appreciation for your efforts to ease the burden of this disease on all those it affects. At Wheeling for Healing last month, I had the opportunity to speak with so many people who talked about the impact this event has had on their families and the hope this public effort offers them. Thank you to all who participated in any way in Wheeling for Healing.”
Bruce Mainville, nuclear technologist at Baystate Franklin Medical Center and chair of the Wheeling for Healing steering committee, added, “seeing so many families from the community outdoors exercising and raising money is truly humbling to me. You are all part of something that is very meaningful to Franklin County.”
Donations are still being accepted through December 31; to make a donation, visit www.baystatehealth.org/wheelingforhealing to donate to the general fund or sponsor a participant.