The Ride Of His Life

281370_2298771073068_4619941_nIt’s that time of year again. Our friend Jim Coggeshall (Coggs) is once again setting out on an ambitious ride to raise money and awareness for cancer research. I say ambitious because for me, 200 miles sounds like a great drive not a bike ride. This has become and annual event for Jim and he has raised a lot of money over the years with the help of friends and readers like you to help end cancer. I personally don’t know anyone who has not in some way been affected by cancer. I have lost a grandparent myself and all of us here have lost friends, even very recently. Please read what Coggs has written and donate if you can. Lets show him that we are behind him and support his cause.

As I write, his goal is to raise $5000 this year and he has just hit $4630. I admire your dedication Jim and thank you for what you do. You do this and go through the journey with strength and wit that we all can learn from. I know you left it out of your write up here but your words of “I gave my left nut, had skin peeled from my face, a spear gun shoved up my butt, and twice rode a bicycle 200 miles to fight cancer. What can you do?” not only make me smile at your sense of humor but also force me to want to do more. You inspire my friend and I wish you nothing but the best in this trial before you.

Some of you may know me from my participation at various Saab events around the Northeastern US.  I’m the current owner of 5 Saabs (Sonett III, C900 & Viggen Verts, and a couple of 9-5 Combi’s) and a regular at Swedish Car Day, Carlisle, etc.  I have hosted numerous Saab events in New England over the past 4 or 5 years.  I am certified Saabinista!  However most likely you know me from reading my story here on SU as I made an annual shameless, but very worthy plea for support in an event that has become the highlight of my year.

Well, it’s that time of year again – and it’s sadly taken on extra importance this time.

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Over the last couple of years the readers of SU have risen to the call to help those fighting cancer by donating to an event I participate in every year. The event is a 200 mile charity bicycle ride across the state of Massachusetts called the Pan Mass Challenge to be held in a few weeks.  This event raises money for cancer research being done at the world renowned Dana Farber Cancer Institute – a facility in Boston I know all too well.  For the past two years I have participated in the event as a cancer survivor.  Unfortunately  I will be participating as patient again this year.  No secret that being diagnosed with cancer totally sucks.  This is the fourth time I’ve been give the bad news but that didn’t make it any easier.  But rather than feeling sorry for myself it just made me all the more determined to try and make a difference for those who are, or will be in the same situation I find myself in.

During the past two years SU readers have kicked in almost $3,000 of the $22,000 I have personally been able to contribute to the Dana Farber.  It is expected that the over 5,500 riders and their sponsors will be able to contribute over $37 million to the effort this year.  Not bad for some folks out for a weekend bike ride.  Please know that every single cent that donated to a rider goes directly to the Dana Farber.  All the event operating costs are underwritten by corporate sponsors.  A number of my close Saab friends are already aboard and I thank them for that.  Particular thanks go out to original SU site owner Swade who has been a great supporter both personally and as a spokesperson.  Also to Tim & Till for helping out last year.  I’m hoping a few more of you can become part of my team as I ride the 200 miles.  No donation is too small, or too large!  Last year I got a number of very Saab appropriate $9 donations.  But we are not going to cure my cancer or anybody else without research, and research takes money, lots of money.  As a three time survivor I’m a testament that we are making progress, but also that the work is far from finish (I have a new diagnosis, not a relapse)

That’s why we ride!

Here is a link to more about my story and a chance to donate:
http://www2.pmc.org/profile/JC0540

Jim Coggeshall

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