Archive 2008 - 2019

2013 Pan-Mass Challenge Has an Extra Special Meaning for Holliston Man

by Chase D. Peleton

On the first weekend in August, when local resident Bill Snapper saddles up along with more than 5,000 other cyclists in the 34th annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, he will achieve two very meaningful milestones. Snapper will be participating in his 25th consecutive PMC, and he will be riding his first PMC as a recognized cancer survivor.

After a routine physical in February of 2012 Snapper was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Given his long affiliation with the PMC – and his over $140,000 raised for cancer research and treatment - Snapper logically sought treatment at the beneficiary of the PMC’s annual fundraising efforts, Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Physicians there recommended a treatment course of “active surveillance”. Snapper chose to tell only a handful of family members about his diagnosis. and in August of 2012 he rode in his 24th PMC.

After a follow up exam last fall raised concerns on the part of the doctors at Dana Farber, Snapper underwent surgery on Valentine’s Day 2013. The results of the surgery were the best that one could hope for. Everything was contained, and all indications are that Snapper is now on the road to a full recovery … and back on the road for his 25th PMC.

Adding a little more unwanted drama to the story, Snapper’s brother Howard, a cardiologist in Atlanta, conferred with his colleagues regarding Bill’s medical situation.  His colleagues insisted that he too get checked out since prostate cancer runs in families. Amazingly, Howard was diagnosed with the exact same cancer as Bill, and was operated on in November of 2012. Happily, in addition to sharing the same cancer, Howard and Bill Snapper now share the same positive prognosis.

“I’ve truly learned that cancer does not discriminate. I now know better than most that sooner or later it touches each one of our lives.” said Snapper. “When it was my turn, I was extremely lucky to have one of the world’s best cancer treatment hospitals just down the road.” When asked if he thought about whether his own commitment to the PMC played any part in his successful treatment, Snapper states, “I think about that a lot! There are many more people than me and Howard who have benefitted from the money raised by the PMC. My plan now is to ride for another 25 years or until cancer is in the history books once and for all.” 


The Pan Mass Challenge is an annual cycling event which raises funds to support the Jimmy Fund of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. 100% of rider raised funding is used for cancer research and treatment.

Visit to support Bill Snapper, or any of the following Holliston residents participating in the 2013 Pan Mass Challenge … Daryl Abbey, Chase Baker, Jonathan Baker, Jack Connors, Bud Dodge, Ellen Freedman, Don Fried-Tanzer, Paul Gillespie, Sam Gillespie, Dan Haley, Jeff Lockwood, Joanne O’Connell, Kevin O’Connell, Kacie Pegoraro, Diane Runstadler, Karl Schlotterbeck, Daniel Serpico, Donald Spongberg, Kevin Wehmhoefer.