The Tahmoush Family Riding PMC

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
August, 2019
Article Body: 

Unfortunately, a good number of the Pan Mass Challenge riders are participating in the charity event because they have lost someone in some aspect to cancer. The Tahmoush’s of Hopedale is one such family that has been hit by cancer and are now taking part in the ride of their life.
In January of this year the Tahmoush’s lost father Kevin’s sister-in-law and Aunt to Jackson (18 years old) and Benjamin (20), Denise to cancer after a three year battle. In honor of Denise the family has decided to take on the two-day ride and participate in their first ever PMC.
The primary factor in participating is Denise’s departure, but the elder Tahmoush is also thinking business.
“Denise is our main motivation behind the ride, but it has also become somewhat of a goal for my education business,” Kevin said. “The route we are taking (Wellesley to Provincetown) finds us going through the towns that I’m looking to grow my business in on the first day. I’m hoping to get recognized by these towns.”
Tahmoush and his sons will ride under Shiplake Education, the main entity of Tutor Doctor, a one-on-one tutoring for individuals of all ages and studying all subjects.
The family was looking for a charity of focus on and the PMC seemed like a good choice, especially after Denise’s passing. They also were looking for something to do as a family that incorporate the outdoors and possibly something athletic.
“This year will just be the three of us as my youngest son Luke (14) was not quite ready to take on this and I was not going to put him through this,” Kevin said. “My wife is a biker and would have loved to participate, maybe next year all five of us will do it.”
It was Jackson who had joked about eventually doing something like riding the PMC, but he had no real motivation to put his thoughts into motion, until he got the text from his dad.
“Out of the blue I got a text from my father asking if we were really interested in doing the PMC as the registration was ending and once it did the money amount you needed to raise increased (it was at $5000 and would go to $8000 after the registration),” Jackson said. “Dad picked the distance that we were going to do, told us about it afterward and we were fin with it. We knew that it was going to be long, but exciting.”
Ben, who had been into sports during his high school career, was looking to get back into athletics despite having never really riding a bike was all for the PMC.
“I had never ridden before, so this was all new to me. The passing of my Aunt was the motivation that I needed to take the chance,” Ben said. “The PMC is not only a cool opportunity, but the biggest single event for fundraising out there, unfortunately we had something like this happen to us become the catalyst to our reasoning.”
While Kevin had not sat on a bike for quite some time and Ben had never even ridden a bike, Jackson had been involved in mountain bike riding for about two years, but this was going to be a whole new experience. The two boys had to purchase bikes for the two-day event, while Kevin had a bike.
“It all depends on how you describe bike riding,” Kevin said. “It’s been awhile since I was a rider, probably about a couple of decades. I have a bike, it’s not your typical PMC bike, but one that should get me through the ride.”
Since the family really didn’t decide on taking on the PMC until the last moment, they really hadn’t pushed themselves to get on their bikes and train.
“We really didn’t start our training until more recently, so it definitely puts us behind the 8-ball,” Jackson said. “We go up to New Hampshire to spend time with family, so we did a lot of riding up their through the hills so hopefully this will help.”
With the family preparing for their first ever PMC ride tragedy struck as Ben fractured his talus bone in his foot. Unfortunately the foot is one of the more complex parts of the body made up of 26 different bones connecting many joints, muscles, ligament and tendons. The talus is a small bone that sits between the heel bone and the tibia and fibula of the lower leg and usually takes 8-12 weeks to heal as long as no weight is put on it.
Ben has been put in a boot to help the foot heal and keeps it on as much as possible.
“This is the first time that I’m actually riding on a bike with skinny tires and cars flying past as I train. It’s very scary,” Ben said. “Then to add on top of it my foot injury it’s been tough, but I’ll get through it.”
Although still rather week from the injury and not able to really do any lower body strengthening to prepare for the long journey ahead of him Ben has the confidence that he will finish the two-day ride no matter how long it takes him.
“There is no rush in finishing,” Jackson said. “We will continue to ride together as a family; it’s an experience that we won’t to enjoy together.”
Despite the downfalls the Tahmoush’s plan on crossing the finish line together in the name of their family member.
“There are a lot of unfortunate things that happen in life,” Ben said. “We’re using this as motivation to raise a ton of money for something that we really care about.”