Pan Mass Challenge 2023: Aug 5-6

  • Every dollar donated goes toward Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
  • Chris Doktor, Sarah Doktor, Nirajan Puri (our son-in-law), Gail Doktor, Jessie (our daughter and sister who lived with leukemia and died following two relapses) and many family members and friends have been involved in the Pan Mass Challenge for over 20 years: riding, volunteering, or supporting! 
  • For several years, our daughter Jessie was a poster child  for this event (see picture below). Then we started riding.
  • We ride, not just to remember and honor those who lived and died due to cancer, but for friends and family now living with cancer or flourishing as survivors. You know them: they’re your friends in this tight-knit community!
  • Children and adults in local communities and around the world continue to be treated by the Jimmy Fund Clinic, Dana Farber, and its affiliated hospitals including Chldrens Hospital Boston, Mass General, Brigham & Women and others. Local cancer centers and oncology clinics use treatment protocols researched, developed, and constantly updated by Dana Farber.
  • For 18 years, our team has been big, small, solo, and combined! We’ve been the inspiration, the energy, the organizers, the pedal-partners, the cyclists, the safety vehicle, the start-and-finish line volunteers, the midway water stop volunteers, and sometimes the storytellers. We’ve ridden for two days and over 180 miles and often for one day. Different routes, same cause! Your support makes all the difference .Many of our own local community members are treated in nearby oncology centers which all use trusted protocols and cutting-edge treatment developed by Dana Farber.


Like all other aspects of life, the hospital’s annual Polar Express week will change due to COVID19. This has been the signature event originated and supported by Bright Happy Power for oncology and transplant patients on several units of Children’s Hospital Boston.

This year, all celebrations take place bedside with family-only, supported by staff. Visitors and volunteers are not permitted.

As well, we have been asked to change the nature of the donations. The greatest needs are for everyday essentials and comfort items for patients, parents and siblings. We will provide funds to be used by hospital staff to develop a variation on Polar Express week that meets family needs while continuing to offer fun as well.

Additionally, the hospital cannot permit external donations of any items this year, but must order all the supplies from their own vendors. Your donations to Bright Happy Power will bring holiday cheer to the bedside of pediatric cancer and hematology patients.

Polar Express Celebration at Childrens Hospital Boston

In early December, patients and families at Childrens Hospital Boston enjoy the start of a week-long winter festival that highlights the Christmas book Polar Express. The event also includes several days of interactive holiday crafts and activities, and culminates with distribution of “Believe” brass sleigh bells.

This tradition began several years ago, and remains our annual program at the hospital for pediatric cancer and transplant patients, siblings, and families. The festival has expanded to include additional units, with contributions of pajamas, slippers and other essentials by many organizations.

We thank the Trustees of Reservations for welcoming our exhibit at the annual Christmas open house at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, MA. That exhibit is underwritten by the Institution for Savings, whose sponsorship then allows us to fund and organize this Polar Express event at Children’s Hospital Boston.