Cancer survivor rides to help Beth Israel-Deaconess team

Bob Harland

Dorchester native Bob Harland’s involvement in A Reason to Ride, taking place on Sunday, September 9 in Danvers, is personal. The 62 year-old is a bladder cancer survivor who credits the doctors and nurses at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) with his successful treatment.

In the fall of 2015, Bob was in Ireland on vacation with his girlfriend, Peggy Folan, who is an oncology nurse at BIDMC. She felt something was wrong with his health and insisted that he go to the doctor as soon as they returned. After seeing his primary care physician, he was referred to Dr. Andrew Wagner, a urologist, and then to Dr. Kathleen Mahoney, an oncologist, both at BIDMC.

Harland was diagnosed with bladder cancer and underwent a 10-plus hour surgery where his bladder was removed robotically and rebuilt using his intestines. He later developed complications including pulmonary embolisms, but his is now cancer free. He is still not able to exercise at the level he did prior to the cancer diagnosis and suffers from neuropathy (damage to peripheral nerves that often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in the hands and feet) from the knee down as a side effect from the chemotherapy.

Harland has participated as a rider at A Reason to Ride in the past, but this year will be doing the 5K that is part of the event. He is grateful that he is feeling well enough again to be part of this meaningful event which was started by a brain cancer survivor who was also treated at BIDMC.

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