READING, MA — Reading’s Liz Adams describes her 6-year-old daughter Lily as “a true warrior.”
Last June, Lily’s parents noticed that their daughter was fatigued, bruising easily and had spiking fevers. After tests, Lily was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-Cell Leukemia).
The treatment began immediately at Boston Children’s Hospital, where Lily spent 42 days. By August, Lily was deemed in remission, though that was just one step on the road to recovery.
Lily immediately began outpatient treatment at Jimmy Fund Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Currently, Lily is undergoing chemo at Jimmy Fund and is in the final phase of continuation or maintenance treatment, according to her mother.
“(Lily) has handled everything that has been thrown at her with grace and optimism, and I, as her mother, have learned so much from her during this, mainly that life and people are pretty amazing,” Liz Adams said. “People ask us all the time how we are getting through it, and it’s Lily’s attitude and positivity that makes it possible.”
Lily and her family also learned this spring that they will have another team on their side: Team Chrissy. The team of riders in this year’s Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), announced they will be riding in Lily’s honor during the event, which takes place Aug. 5-6.
The PMC charity bike ride, which features several different bike routes and distances, has been around since 1980 and raised $900 million for pediatric cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber. One hundred percent of every rider-raised dollar from the PMC goes to Dana-Farber, accounting for 60 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue.
According to organizers, the PMC raised $69 million in 2022, and the goal is to reach a record-breaking $70 million this summer.
In March, Liz Adams said her family was approached about being part of the PMC Pedal Partner program, where PMC teams are paired with patients like Lily.
This past Saturday, several of those PMC teams and the patients they are honoring —including Lily and her family and Team Chrissy — had a chance to meet one another and interact at an event at 521 Overlook at Fenway Park.
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The event featured a morning full of activities, including interactive arts and crafts and a continental breakfast. There also was a special appearance from Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster.
“This entire journey has made us realize how wonderful and inherently good people really are. And to have the PMC riders, specifically Team Chrissy, want to support Lily without really knowing us means more than they realize,” Liz Adams said. “When someone in your family, mainly a child, has cancer, it is the most isolating feeling in the world, but events/organizations like the PMC make you feel not so alone.”
More information about riding in the PMC or giving to the cause is available online.
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