They say charity begins at home, but one 6-year-old Framingham girl learned all about giving to other by following in her dad's footsteps or should I say bike pedals.
Last summer, Adam King rode in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) for the first time. participants in the bike-a-thon cycle through more than 40 communities and cover more than 150 miles with 100% of the proceeds going to cancer research and treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund.
"After helping me to raise money for last year’s PMC (by helping me sell lemonade and hold a yard sale) and watching me finish the ride surrounded by supporters in Provincetown, my daughter Eliana decided that this year she wanted to participate," said King.
"On May 20, she rode in the PMC Kids Ride in Natick and in the process raised a few hundred dollars," said King.
"While at the ride, Eliana entered a raffle to win an American Girl Doll, and as luck would have it, she won!," said King.
King said the typical 6-year-old would have kept the doll but Eliana decided she wanted to give it to a child currently fighting cancer.
"Words cannot express how proud I was to hear her tell me that, realizing that her involvement in the PMC was indeed teaching her about the important lessons in life," King said.
"We worked with the PMC and Dana Farber to locate a young girl who had stated she wanted an American Girl doll, and soon we were introduced to Lydia," explained King.
"Lydia was diagnosed with cancer 16 months ago and often makes two trips per week into Boston from her home in New Hampshire for chemotherapy and various other treatments," said King.
Unable to play sports, King said they learned Lydia spends much of her time reading.
Eliana made her a card and a bookmark in anticipation of their meeting.
The last week of June, dad and daughter met Lydia, 8, at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Eliana gave her the doll and the presents she hand crafted.
"Participating in this event was one of the highlights of my life, but knowing that this charitable message is being passed on to my children is even more fulfilling," said King. Eliana just turned 7 in July.
"This is not about me riding my bike nearly 200 miles – it is about all of us doing what we can to help people like Lydia realize a better day," said King.
If you would like to help the Lanewood Avenue family continue its charitable efforts, visit King's Pan-Mass Challenge profile page and make a donate for his ride in August.
He plans to bicycle more than 160 miles over two days and raise $4,300. He has already received $2,400 in donations. To help, click here.