JOIN THE BATTLE. GIVE TO BEAT RARE CANCERS.
I have a confession: sometimes I underestimate what people are capable of.
It was just over 12 years ago that Jen Goodman Linn, my childhood best friend of more than 26 years, told me that she was thinking of doing a fundraiser to thank the doctors and nurses at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) who she felt had saved her life after a recent surgery. Jen had sarcoma and the doctors removed a football-sized tumor from her abdomen.
Jen’s idea for a fundraiser was simple. Cycling was something that made her feel good even when the cancer and its subsequent treatment were making her feel awful. She wanted to create a charity event where her friends would ride spinning bikes and raise money for MSKCC to find better treatments for rare types of cancers like hers—which are ALL pediatric cancers; leukemia and lymphoma; brain, pancreatic, ovarian and thyroid cancers; and many others.
She asked me if I thought she would be able to raise $10,000 if we gathered together a bunch of friends to get on some spin bikes and get friends to sponsor our rides. Although I told her that sure, we could do it and that we’d definitely raise some money, I wasn’t so sure we’d be able to raise the 10K that she wanted.
As usual, she proved me wrong. SO wrong! Jen and I and many of her friends raised $250, 000 that first year and since then Cycle for Survival has become a nationwide event in 16 cities with more than 31,000 participants that has raised $140+ million. Most importantly 100% of every dollar has gone directly to cancer research at MSKCC (which I find so impressive because most cancer fundraising organizations can’t even come close to saying that). In turn money raised through Cycle for Survival has funded more than 100 clinical trials and helped thousands of cancer sufferers. So, yeah, you could say I underestimated her and her supernatural abilities to do anything she set her mind to.
As I learned through Jen, these so called “rare” cancers touch many lives and include diseases that are all too familiar to us. A cancer diagnosis always brings uncertainty, but the people fighting these diseases face the additional challenge of having limited, if any, treatment options available.
But we’re changing that. My Cycle for Survival team, named in memory of Jen—who unfortunately succumbed to her disease six years ago—but inspired by and in honor of so many others, is committed to raising money for research, allowing new and better treatments to be discovered. If you are able, please help us achieve that goal. Your contribution will be put to incredibly effective use to combat these pernicious diseases and all proceeds raised are put to use in clinical trials and research within 6 months of our February ride.
Thank you so much. Your contribution means so much to my family and me. We miss our Jen and want to try to prevent anyone else from losing someone so important in his or her life.