Posts Tagged ‘cycle for survival’

This Is Why We Ride

March 6, 2017

 

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Last weekend marked my eighth ride for Cycle for Survival. I have been a commited supporter, ever since the founder, Jennifer Goodman Linn encouraged me to get involved many years ago.

We met in my office at the company where she was newly employed, and making the rounds of meet and greets company executives. During her rotation with me, as we were getting to know one another, she mentioned her passion for cycling, that her hair was a wig, and that every Friday afternoon, she went for her weekly “spa treatments,” as she referred to her chemo regimen. I’m not sure of much else, but I think she had me at wig. I was impressed at how open and honest about her illness she was, and how she never let it hold her back. Jen was an inspiration to all that came in contact with her. During her long battle with a rare form of sarcoma, she never wavered in her enthusiasm for life, and helping others like herself find a cure for this deadly disease. Through that love of cycling, and immense gratitude to her doctors and staff at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, she started a charity ride at Equinox, to raise money for her cause. Who ever would have imagined that years later, that spin class would turn into more than 31,000 people riding at Equinox locations all across the country and raising more than  $132,000,000 to date? I vowed to ride until I could no longer move my legs, or we found a cure and didn’t need to. I was committed, and passionate about the cause and that passion was contagious.

This year however, something changed. It became increasingly more difficult to fill my team roster. My team of 16 dwindled to 4. Solicating donations was tougher than prior years. As a result of all this, even the event itself left me feeling a little disconnected. The current political climate certainly affected things, and people are spread very thin right now when it comes to rallying for causes and shelling out money for support. I get that. But I think some of the longtime participants may have a little “event fatigue.” It occurred to me, after I got home and thought about it, that it was no longer about Jen. Even after she passed away, she was still a presence at the events. From sharing her 40th birthday dance video, to her parents running around in satin robes with boxing gloves, fighting cancer in their own way, to Sloane Kettering naming a research lab in her honor, Jen was always still there in spirit. But this year, she wasn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to see how big this event has become, and the goal was always to raise as much money as possible. But I missed the human factor that made it so special. I started to question if it was time to let the next wave take over.  That is, until an email came into my inbox. It was from a women named Heather Von St. James, and she was celebrating her 11th year of survival from a deadly form of cancer called mesothelioma that she discovered just 3 months after giving birth to her daughter.  Today, I finally had enough time to explore her blog and read her story, and it is an uplifting one.  Given just 15 months to live, Heather traveled to Boston to undergo what was then, a groundbreaking surgical proceedure, followed by subsequent rounds of chemo and radiation therapy that would hopefully increase her chances of living another 10 years. Defying all odds, she is still healthy 11 years later, and is using her experience to spread awareness and help others fighting this disease.

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She approached me to use this space to help her bring awareness to mesothelioma, and it’s treatment. Her blog tells her story in a way that I never could, outlining her struggles, her fear and her triumphant road to recovery. While I was reading, wiping away tears, it hit me. This is why we ride. Not for Jen, but for the many, many Jens out there, who fight the battle against cancer every day and win. For the Heathers, the family, friends and co-workers who get diagnosed every day and need the support and treatment that isn’t always readily available to them. We ride to find a cure, or at the very least a protocol that can extend one’s life. It’s not about any one person. It is about coming together to fight a demon that affects us all.

Unlike our political state right now, cancer does not discriminate. It doesn’t care about race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. It doesn’t care if  you are a Democrat, or a Republican. And it needs to be stopped. When you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, there are no alternative facts. It is a life or death issue that we need rally around.

If you would like to donate to Cycle for Survival or Heather Von St. James’ Lung Leavin’ Day Fundraiser please click on the links. If you’d like to learn more about mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos exposure read here.

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Give Back, Pay it Forward

December 2, 2015

This holiday season, and throughout the year, we like to participate in various charitable initiatives. Here a few ways we give back to our community and pay it forward, to help others:

This week, we are excited and honored ( did you take a look at that list of  sponsors.. meep!) to be baking for a pop up shop in the Union Square Holiday Market to benefit the High School of Food and Finance. Stop by to get a sweet treat from some of New York’s best bakers, (and moi!) to help the next wave of culinary entrepreneurs!

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We are riding in Cycle for Survival again, for the 7th consecutive year this March. Every dollar raised goes directly to Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital’s research labs, and their work has already saved lives across the globe. We still have a few spots on our team available, if you would like to ride, and we would be most appreciative of your donations. You can make a gift in someone’s honor, which in our opinion is the ultimate holiday present. It is fun and memorable event that truly changes the lives of cancer patients and their families. Click the link to above to get to our team page, and message me if you would like to ride with us. 158883101.custom

Our family friend and former pediatrition Dr. Jane Aronson is doing amazing things for children internationally. Her charity, Worldwide Orphan’s Foundation, strives to transform the lives of orphaned children and help them become healthy, independent, productive members of their communities and the world. From building hospitals in remote areas, to providing them with exposure to the arts, to building a team of “orphan rangers ” to spend quality time with these childen, the work she does it priceless. Click the link to learn more and support her work.

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Lastly, we are thrilled to be a contributor to Mogul, an information sharing website that unites women across the world. In addition to interesting stories on a vast array of subjects, Mogul offers a series of online courses. For each one you enroll in, the entire set of courses goes to a girl in need. The subjects range from Entrepreneurship, Finance and Career Development, to Beauty, Fitness and Travel. Check out a course, and give the gift of education to a girl who might not have the opportunity otherwise.

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There are so many other worthy causes, we couldn’t begin to list here. Whatever you passion is, we encourage you to support it through your time, or your financial contributions.

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Check out our artisanal food site Indigo Jones Eats

Visit our shops on  GourmlyEcohabitude, and Etsy

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Join Us!

February 25, 2015

Tonight, we are hosting a very special event on behalf of Cycle for Survival. Please join us to enjoy great performances, wonderful food and drinks, win amazing raffle prizes and more importantly, help us raise money for research and clinical trials to fight rare forms of cancer. Every dollar raised will be matched, and all funds go directly into global lifesaving research at Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital. All of us have been touched by cancer in some way, and we all know how devastating this disease can be. Help us imagine a world where it can be cured, or even eradicated.

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If you can’t make it tonight, but would like to join the battle against rare cancers, please go the website:

http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/CycleforSurvival/AG_Cycle_Event?px=1218161&pg=personal&fr_id=2340

Obesity and Cancer

January 14, 2015

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Look out tobacco, there is a new risk in town. Yes, something else is running so rampant in our society, that it is about to replace tobacco use as the leading cause of cancer.

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, obesity is poised to overtake tobacco as the number one modifiable factor in cancer risk.

While most everyone is aware of the link between smoking and lung cancer, very few know about the connection between cancer and being over wieght.

Tobacco use has dropped over the years, largely due to the restrictions on it’s use throughout the United States, and many other countries. The obesity rate, however continues to grow. According to Dr. Clifford Hudis, a physician at Memorial Sloane Kettering and a former president of the ASCO, current projections state that 60% of all  residents of southern states will be obese by 2030.

While more research needs to be done, cancer risk is just another reason to maintain a healthy weight. Adjusting one’s diet is a key factor in overall good health and may contribute to warding off cancer, in addition to hypertension, diabetes and arthritis.

To help support life saving research and clinical trials, please consider contributing to our Cycle for Survival team. Every dollar raised goes to help fund this valuable work. This week, every donation will be matched, doubling your impact.

http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/CycleforSurvival/AG_Cycle_Event?px=1218161&pg=personal&fr_id=2340

photo: Glasshouse Images

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

Take a peek at our Tumblr.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

Giving Tuesday

December 2, 2014

Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Stores open on Thanksgiving Day. Midnight Madness. We are bombarded with consumerism. Did you really need that *(insert random useless object here)?

Today, take a step back, and partake in another way to celebrate the season; Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving back to those in need. Channeling the spirit of generosity, please make a donation to the charity of your choice. Whether donating food, clothing, or money, this day is a chance to have a positive effect on the world we live in.

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We support Cycle for Survival, an organization which raises funds for Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital. One hundred percent of all money raised goes directly into the research and development of life saving protocols, to help find a cure for rare cancers. Please consider supporting our team, as join the battle against this deadly disease.

You can donate here.

If you would like to join our team to support Cycle for Survival, please email us at indigojonesnyc@gmail.com

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

You Are All Invited!

February 23, 2014

I am hosting a fundraiser for Cycle for Survival this Wednesday night and you are all invited! We have an amazing line up of musicians, comediennes, complimentary snacks, cocktails and a few special raffle prizes! (perhaps a designer handbag or two?) It’s at Bongo, a great mid-century modern lounge in the West Village that you all should know about. They have an amazing view of the Hudson River, and the best lobster rolls in town!

We have added more artists since the invite was created, so look out for Polly A., (formerly performing as Meleni Smith), and the musical comedienne, Ben Lerman. You can check them both out on Spotify. They will be joined by the incredible Iman Europe and her beautiful, soulful vocals, and Cecilia Gault, whose talent far exceeds her years. We are thrilled to have Eric Schwortz of Nature Cruise doing a solo set, as well as local faves Laura DeLucia and Aaron Giata, guitarist Peter Knoll,  and Mike Hubbard. And if your stomach hurts from laughing at Maribeth Mooney, don’t say you weren’t warned. Stay tuned, because you never know what else is up our sleeves!

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We are also grateful to Glasshouse Images for their support of this special event.

If you are in New York, please come by and enjoy the festivities, while contributing to a very worthy cause.

If you can’t join us, but would like to donate to Cycle for Survival, to help the amazing folks at Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital fight rare cancers, please click here. All proceeds from the event will go directly into research, and no gift is too big or too small.

I hope to see you on Wednesday night. Be sure to come by and introduce yourself, AND SPREAD THE WORD!!

You can have a great time, while fighting cancer…sounds like a win/ win situation to me!

Join The Battle

December 4, 2013

First it was Black Friday, and then it was Cyber Monday, two days designated to spend money on material things for yourself and others.

But you wouldn’t you give up everything, just to see a loved one regain their health, or come back to life after losing their battle with a debilitating disease? Today, on Giving Tuesday, we humbly request that you help us in our quest to cure rare cancers.

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I am part of a wonderful charity called Cycle for Survival, founded by a friend and former colleague, Jennifer Goodman Linn and her husband Dave.

Although Jen lost her personal fight with a rare form of cancer almost 2 years ago, her legacy lives on in the foundation she started to find a cure. Each year, my team and I ride to raise money to support that fight. So far, our efforts have helped fund over 85 clinical trials, helping to increase the lifespan, and quality of life for many cancer sufferers. We have pledged to ride until we no longer have to; a time when no family has to see a loved one suffer from this horrible disease again.

Won’t you join our battle?
Click on the link to Donate.

Please click on the link to see a short video about the event.

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We, and all of the people who benefit from this research, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Shine Bright

March 2, 2013

Last night, Saturday  Night Live’s Seth Meyers lit the Empire State Building up in orange, in honor of  Cycle for Survival.

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The event has raised almost $31 million dollars for rare cancer research since it’s inception in 2007. The charity has funded 53 clinical trials through Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. One hundred percent of all money donated is funneled into life saving research within 9 months.

Cycle for Survival’s founder, Jennifer Goodman-Linn, and her husband Dave, created the event as a way for Jen to give something back to the community that supported her on her 7 year battle with a rare form of sarcoma. An avid cyclist and marketing executive, Jen found a way to merge her passions to help others. She touched the lives of many, both personally, and through her blog, YOU FEARLESS, which documented her life with the disease. Her optimism shone as brightly as the building which is lit in her honor. Sadly, she lost her fight in 2010.

Tomorrow, my team will be joined by 13,000 others as we ride to help keep Jen’s legacy and indomitable spirit alive, by supporting this amazing organization.

Won’t you help us find a cure for cancer? Please donate by clicking the link below:
http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/CycleforSurvival/AG_Cycle_Event?team_id=21582&pg=team&fr_id=1818

“Nobody beats cancer until we all beat cancer.”

How to Dance After Losing it All

February 4, 2013

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I have written several times about Jennifer Goodman- Linn, and Cycle for Survival, the charity she co-founded with her husband Dave Linn.

Jen was an inspiration to everyone whose life she touched, whether personally, or through her blog You Fearless, which chronicled her 7 year battle with a rare form of sarcoma that ultimately took her life in 20011. Her strength, honesty and positive outlook endeared her to many.

Her legacy lives on, through the incredible work being done by Cycle for Survival, which has funded 53 life sustaining clinical trials, and has raised over $24 million to fund research at Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital in New York City.

After sustaining 7 operations and unfathomable amounts of chemotherapy, Jen’s doctors feared she would not live to see her 40th birthday. Miraculously, she rebounded yet again, and was able to celebrate her milestone surrounded by her friends and family. In true Jen fashion, she posted a video of herself doing a silly “happy to be alive” dance, that touched the hearts of all who viewed it.

Last week, her husband Dave faced his own 40th birthday, and wrote about it for the Huffington Post. He also generously offered to make a donation to Cycle for Survival for each comment his wife’s happy dance video receives.

Take a moment to read Dave’s story, and watch Jen show you how to enjoy the gift of life, one silly dance move at a time.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-linn/cycle-for-survival-cancer_b_2589456.html

If you would like to support my team’ s ride, please click on the link below to donate to Shari’s Spinners. Although I am still recovering from my fractured knee, I am committed to being on the bike March 2, riding at Rockefeller Center for Cycle for Survival.

Why do I cycle? Because   “Nobody beats cancer until we all beat cancer.”

http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/CycleforSurvival/AG_Cycle_Event?team_id=21582&pg=team&fr_id=1818

GIving Tuesday

November 27, 2012

The day after Thanksgiving is thought to be the biggest shopping day of the year. The term “Black Friday” comes from a time when the boost in sales helped businesses move from being in the “red” to being in the “black,” or achieving profitability.

Black Friday is the kick off to holiday shopping. Consumerism runs rampant this time of year, and it is difficult to remember why we are celebrating the holidays in the first place.

Stores opened as early as Thanksgiving Day, setting off a barrage of criticism from workers who wanted, justifiably to spend the time with their families.

Black Friday has spawned other shopping days, such as Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

In an effort to step back and embrace the true meaning of the season, Giving Tuesday has been created to encourage people to give to others in need.

Statistics show that in 2011, the average shopper spent almost $400 on Black Friday, with almost 25% of them hitting the stores by midnight.  What if just a small amount of that money was spent on giving back to their communities?

Today, I ask each of you to think about what you are grateful for, and find a way to express that gratitude by donating time or money to a worthy cause.
As for myself, I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to help me raise money for the treatment of rare cancers through Cycle for Survival.  Each year, I ride in a charity indoor cycling event, which has raised over $18 million dollars for the research and development of treatment protocols to aid those suffering from rare forms of cancer. A friend of mine, Jennifer Goodman Linn, whose 7-year battle with cancer ended just over a year ago, founded it. She was an inspiration to everyone whose life she touched, and her legacy has helped fund over 53 clinical trials at Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital.

Please click the link below to donate to my team, Shari’s Spinners to help us find a cure for this devastating disease.

www.cycleforsurval.org

If you are in New York City, and would like to join the team, or would like to form a satellite team in your town, please contact me directly at indigojonesnyc@gmail.com for more information.

I am thankful that I am able to do something I enjoy and truly make a difference in the lives of others. What will you do to give back today?

photo:Glasshouse Images


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