Women's Swimming

Springfield Republican Feature On "Coast To Coast To Cure Cancer"

Newcomb and Heller are hoping to raise money and awareness on cancer and cancer research.

Newcomb and Heller are hoping to raise money and awareness on cancer and cancer research.

May 8, 2013

UMass women's swimming and diving coach, Bob Newcomb, and deputy director of the UMass Donahue Institute, Eric Heller, will embark on a cross-country bike ride to raise money and awareness for cancer. The two, who regularly participate in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) will depart from Seaside, Ore. on June 6 with the hopes of finishing their trek at the end of the PMC in Provincetown, Mass. on August 4. The two hope to raise money for the Jimmy Fund and cancer research.

To donate to the cause or simply learn more about the cross-country trip go to c2c2c2.org.

The following is an excerpt from the story published in the Springfield Republican. To read the full story CLICK HERE.

Amherst men challenging themselves with cross-country ride to raise money, awareness about cancer

By: Diane Lederman, The Springfield Republican

AMHERST - Eric Heller has been riding the 192 miles from Sturbridge to Provincetown in the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge since 1994 and his friend Bob Newcomb since 2008.

The men will ride again this summer to raise money for cancer research for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in the 34th such ride, but the 192 miles will be just a blink of their odyssey.

The men plan to ride cross-country to raise more money and awareness first.

Heller, the deputy director at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute, met Newcomb, the UMass women's swimming coach about six years ago, and they have been riding together on PMC training rides ever since.

Heller, 59, had wanted to ride cross-county for many years. Several years ago he decided to do it in 2013.

"If you don't set a date, it will never happen," Heller said. He picked this year because he will be turning 60 and this will be his 20th Pan-Massachusetts Challenge ride. He mentioned it to Newcomb who said he'd ride along with him.



"I'm hoping what happens (this) will inspire others," Heller said.

Heller's mother Pearl Heller, died in 2007 from endometrial cancer when she was 79 years old. Newcomb's parents, Mickey and Bud Newcomb, also died from the disease.

The two will have the help of others on their journey.

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