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Thursday, August 04 2016

Still Time to Register for Wheeling for Healing

Adapted from Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC) press releases:

Registration is still open for the 9th annual Wheeling for Healing bike/walk/run benefit on Sunday, August 21st, that will start and end at Greenfield Community College (GCC).  The event features 3 different rides:  a 10-mile route through the Greenfield meadows; a moderate 25-mile ride through Bernardston, Gill, Turners Falls, and Greenfield; and a challenging 50-mile route that goes up into the hills of Warwick and Wendell.  The walk/run course includes the GCC campus as well as neighboring streets, all within safe, low-traffic, areas.

When you hit the pavement at this year’s event, you will join hundreds in helping to ensure that Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC) will continue to provide the best in cancer care in our community.  Proceeds from previous events have been used to purchase medical equipment and comfort items for patients undergoing chemotherapy and have also gone to assist patients with extraordinary expenses associated with their illness, including medicines not covered by their insurance.

Last year, nearly 200 participants raised over $40,000 to support the purchase of new exam tables for BFMC’s Oncology department.  The new tables are controlled by an electronic foot pedal, allowing them to be lowered so patients can get on them more easily. They are also softer and wider for patients’ comfort.

“Patients often spend a whole day with us – sometimes several days in a row – and many are coping with significant discomfort, said BFMC Oncology Department Manager Naomi Bolognani, RN, BSN, OCN. “Making sure our patients are as comfortable as possible is essential,” she noted. “The new infusion chairs and exam tables have been a godsend, and the Patient Needs Fund goes a long way toward easing the many financial stresses that come with dealing with a cancer diagnosis.”

BFMC Nuclear Medicine Technologist Bruce Mainville says, "Virtually no one today is untouched by cancer. We all know family members, friends, and colleagues who have battled this disease, and this is a chance to raise funds to honor or remember someone special, and it’s rewarding to know that every pledge collected goes to support our local Oncology Department, serving people right here in our community.”

Those who have a group of enthusiastic cyclists in their workplace, or who are part of a cycling club or a family of cyclists, are invited to form teams and raise donations together.  Teams may be comprised of walkers, runners, and cyclists.  They may write their team names on sports “bibs” that will be available at the event.

The registration fee is $40 for cyclists, $30 for walkers/runners, and free for children age 12 and under.  Registration includes morning snacks and a picnic lunch catered by GCC.  Wheeling for Healing is not a race and participants are asked to sign up for a course that matches their level of ability.  On the walk/run course, small children can safely ride bikes while their parents walk or run alongside them and there will also be children’s bike safety activities.

Participants can register online at and design their own web pages, adding photographs and personal messages about why they are committed to this cause, and send emails to solicit pledges.  Anyone who raises $100 or more will receive a commemorative sports T-shirt.  For more information, or sponsor Wheeling for Healing, please visit the website listed above or call Baystate Health Foundation at (413) 794-4288.

GCC is located at 1 College Drive and Health New England is the presenting sponsor for this event.