EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

August 2, 2013

Sen. Finegold in Pan-Mass Challenge for late sister


So he went to Buchika’s Ski and Bike Shop in Salem, N.H., and bought a bike.

While he is in tip-top shape as a regular at Walter Norton’s IPF workout facility in Andover, he quickly learned cycling isn’t as easy as it looks.

“I’ve run road races like the Feaster Five and I work out at IPF as often as I can,” Finegold said. “But I learned it’s not easy sitting on a seat for an hour or two. And it takes some energy trying not to get hit by cars.”

Sister Diana, who will be doing the Pan-Mass Challenge with him, said that training for the race has changed her life in ways she never imagined, including the connection she has made with her brother.

“This has been such an uplifting experience, not only because it’s introduced me to the world of biking and the physical challenge that goes into training for a ride like this,” Diana Finegold said, “but the solidarity of doing this with my brother to raise money for a cancer institute that was insurmountable in their support and care for our sister in trying to do everything they could to help her fight this disease and extend her life as long as they did with cutting-edge treatment.”

Last Sunday, Finegold rode 56 miles through North Andover, Boxford and Georgetown, and he recalled a few times when he felt like taking a long break.

But he didn’t.

“When I struggled a bit, I would think of Joni and her fight, and sure, I got a little emotional,” he said. “But it’s amazing the strength I got from her and always will get from her.”

Joni’s presence has been in Andover the last month as her two daughters are staying with Finegold’s parents, Mike and Sondra.

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