Eileen and Dennis Ahearn — Tour de Pink Volunteers, Massage Therapist and Hospitality Manager
Eileen and Dennis Ahearn donate their professional skills and vacation time to YSC year after year. When asked what drives their dedication, Eileen’s response is simple, “When I see the physical and emotional impact that breast cancer has on these young women, I want to help them. It’s the least I can do.”
Eileen is a board-certified, licensed massage therapist and graduate of the Swedish Institute, College of Health Sciences, whose training includes an understanding of serious health issues along with a focus on the lymphatic system.
Having volunteered with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) at the start of the AIDS epidemic, Eileen’s expertise encompassed the health benefits of massage and relaxation. In 2008 after working with a young woman affected by breast cancer, she decided to donate her skills at YSC’s Tour de Pink® (#YSCTdP), a three-day bike ride to benefit Young Survival Coalition (YSC).
Eileen eagerly recruited her husband Dennis, whose extensive experience in hospitality could be put to good use. The couple thought, “Our lives are really busy, and personal time is priceless, but it would be incredibly rewarding to share that time with some inspiring people.”
That fall as cyclists embarked from Hershey, Pa., to New York City, the Ahearns were there for them. Eileen set up her massage table at each rest stop assisting riders with muscle fatigue, cramps and keeping them prepared for the miles ahead.
Though Dennis’ first job along the route was as van driver, it became evident his warm and hospitable nature best served the participants alongside Eileen at the rest stop. He says, “By extending myself, I’m reminded of what is truly important in life and that giving to others can nourish my soul.”
Over the years, Eileen’s role has grown; she continues to provide hands-on massages while spearheading efforts to recruit additional professionals to volunteer. Working through the American Massage Therapy Association, Eileen secures massage therapists in each state the group travels through.
For five consecutive years, Eileen and Dennis have dedicated their vacation time to Tour de Pink East Coast. For them, it’s not all about what they give … it’s about what they receive! They remark, “It’s obvious how much everyone cares for each other. Tour de Pink is not a race but an experience filled with support and personal fulfillment. Every person involved is an integral piece of the puzzle.”
Thank you Eileen and Dennis for your commitment and compassion in providing encouragement to all Tour de Pink participants as they tackle the road ahead!