Bruce Taylor readily recalls the date—April 8, 1999—when he and his wife, Laurie, learned that their 8-year-old son, Alex, had a brain tumor. Within four hours of his diagnosis, the family drove from Exeter, N.H., to MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), where Alex began nine months of treatment, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
“Alex is now 21 and in college,” says Bruce. “A community supported us during our journey and we wanted to find a way to help others.”
Joined by a team of five friends from the Timberland Company whose lives had also been touched by cancer, Bruce organized the Granite State Quest, a bike event to raise funds for pediatric oncology at MGHfC. To take part in the crowdfunding event, cyclists pay a $50 registration fee and choose between a 50- or 100-mile course.
With strong local business support, including donations of tents, snacks, jerseys and bike repair, all crowdfunding proceeds benefit the pediatric oncology program at MGHfC
“We started in 2003 with 31 riders and raised $84,783,” says Bruce. To date, total event proceeds have exceeded $1 million. With strong local business support, including donations of tents, snacks, jerseys and bike repair, all crowdfunding proceeds benefit the pediatric oncology program at MGHfC.
Riders include patients, families and friends as well as MGHfC clinicians and staff. Many participate year after year to join fellow riders who have become friends. The day concludes with a barbeque.
“We celebrate our quest and our community,” says Bruce. “We’re advancing both research and patient care. Now, many more patients are survivors. We’re supporting services to families who are just starting this journey.”