Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Tony Brake, a recreational cyclist, Boston Marathoner, and active member of the Dana-Farber Charity Team.
Here’s what he had to say:
What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
I recently surpassed $25,000 in fundraising for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a world leader in cancer research and treatment.
How did you achieve it?
Persistence and the generosity of others. Unfortunately, I think it’s easy for most people to identify with cancer, given how pervasive a disease it is. If there’s anyone who hasn’t been impacted in some way, either through a family member or friend, they should consider themselves very fortunate; they are in a VERY SMALL minority.
What motivates you to make the world a better place?
Five close family members have been impacted by cancer, including my mother and my brother. Those experiences have motivated me to do whatever I can to prevent others from having to live through the physical and emotional toll that this horrible disease exacts.
What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
I was a marathon runner for three years before severe hip osteoarthritis brought an end to that activity about a year ago. I’ve turned to road cycling as my main activity, and will be participating in the Pan-Mass Challenge on August 3rd and 4th. I supplement that with spinning, strength training, and the occasional walk.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I wouldn’t call it advice, but the quote from the late Steve Prefontaine: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” My arthritis prevents me from being competitive, in the purest sense of the word, but it has no bearing on my ability to do good for others.
What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
I love the variety of charities supported — many of which have direct relevance to me based on experiences of family members — and how it allows me to extend the reach of my training efforts beyond the direct fundraising that I’m doing.
Who do you exercise for, and why?
My favorite organization to support is Stand Up to Cancer. Others of direct relevance I support, given the health history of other family members, include the Michael J. Fox Foundation as well as the most recent addition to the app, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.