Why I Ride: Joe Mallee
“Cancer is a horrible disease. A lot of people struggle and suffer, and it’s hard. Anything I can do to help support the cause, and Penn and the work they do, I'm excited about.”
Meet Joe Mallee, the newest Breakthrough Bike Challenge board member!
Joe is the CEO of Mass Mutual Eastern Penn, and he and his wife, Allison, have been married for 14 years. They have a 10-year-old son, JP, and two toy poodles.
Joe very recently joined the Breakthrough Bike Challenge Board of Directors. His good friend and fraternity brother from La Salle University, Drew Costello, was already on the board. Because he knows Joe’s background in terms of cycling and cancer, it seemed like a natural fit for Joe to join the board. Joe is excited to be part of the organization, and hopes to use his business and community connections to raise $15,000 for this year’s Breakthrough Bike Challenge.
Joe’s connection to the Breakthrough Bike Challenge is a personal one. In 2008, his mom went to the doctor seeking care for a cough, but soon learned she had Stage IV lung cancer. She was treated at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center, where she swore by the treatment she received. “They were wonderful in helping her,” Joe shared. Because of her experience, Joe has a sweet spot in his heart for the cancer center.
After his mom’s diagnosis, Joe began running as an outlet to deal with his grief. He started with the 10 mile Broad St. Run, followed by three half marathons and in 2010 his running culminated with the Atlantic City Marathon.
Patricia Mallee passed away in 2011, and Joe took a break from distance athletics.
Several years later, though, he got back into these events and has tried a new one each year. For the last five years, he has participated in The Ben to the Shore Bike Tour, a 65-mile bike ride supporting the families of fallen and critically injured first responders. He has also raised more than $15,000 for the Eagles Autism Challenge.
Joe hopes to raise at least $15,000 for this year’s Breakthrough Bike Challenge. “Cancer is a horrible disease,” he said. “A lot of people struggle and suffer, and it’s hard. Anything I can do to help support the cause, and Penn and the work they do, I'm excited about.”
With an established network consisting of thousands of people, he hopes to leverage those connections to reach his fundraising goal for the 2021 Breakthrough Bike Challenge. Several of the advisors who work with him at MassMutual Eastern PA have been impacted by cancer, and Joe plans to establish a team through the firm. He also plans to take advantage of the company’s corporate matching program to boost his team’s fundraising efforts. By sharing his story on social media and utilizing the support offered by his company, Joe hopes to contribute much-needed funds for the research efforts at Penn Medicine Abramson Cancer Center.
In addition to meeting his fundraising goal for this year, Joe hopes to safely finish the ride. To learn more about Joe’s team and to make a donation, please visit https://www.ms-stride.org/breakthroughbikechallenge/profiles/team/MMEPARiders