Posts Tagged ‘jennifer goodman linn’

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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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.

Cycle for Survival

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

Cycle for Survival

February 8, 2012

This weekend, we will be riding in Cycle for Survival, an indoor team cycling event to raise money for research and the development of new drug therapies to treat rare cancers.

Last July, Cycle’s founder, Jennifer Goodman Linn, lost her 7-year battle with a rare form of sarcoma.  Her energy and passion was infectious, and she accomplished more in her 40 years, than most of us do in our lifetimes. A Harvard business school graduate and marketing executive, Jen channeled her expertise into creating the fastest growing privately founded non-profit organization in the country. Her unique business model allows Cycle for Survival to funnel 100% of all of its proceeds into research at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, where she was treated.

In the wake of Susan G. Komen’s political decision to withdraw their funding to Planned Parenthood, and their equally political reversal of that decision, we are especially proud to support an organization whose heart and soul is dedicated to finding a cure for cancer.

Cycle for Survival has funded over 27 clinical trials to date, some of which have already extended the lives of cancer sufferers.

Won’t you join us in keeping the wheels of Jen’s legacy spinning, and make a 100% tax-deductible donation to this incredible cause?

To donate, click on the link below:

Cycle for Survival / Shari’s Spinners

UPDATE: We have crossed the $10,000 mark! Let’s keep the momentum going!

Fearless Tour

August 23, 2011

A few weeks ago, I lost a friend to a devastating disease. You may have read about her on this blog, the fearless fighter of cancer and founder of Cycle for Survival, a team studio cycling event that has raised over $9 million for the research and treatment of rare cancers.

Jen was special to so many, due to her undying optimism, and attempt to face her fears and focus on living life to the fullest. She was an inspiration to so many that knew her personally, and those that knew her only from her blog You Fearless“.

She loved cycling, and celebrated her successes, both big and small with a happy dances that she shared via video.

In honor of her extraordinary life, Kevin Garcia, of Lead Dog Marketing has embarked on the Fearless Tour, a 600 mile ride across California. Every day they stop and plant a flag with an inspirational quote from Jen, and film a happy dance.

Please take a moment to check out their Facebook page. For every “like“ they recieve, they will donate $1 to Cycle for Survival.

Energize Me!

July 7, 2010

I have written about Jen and her wonderful organization “Cycle for Survival” several times on this blog.  Recently, she has been honored as one of the finalists in the “Energizer Hall of Fame”. A six time survivor of a rare form of cancer, Jen is currently waging yet another battle. Throughout her fight she has shown immense courage and fortitude that puts that Energizer Bunny to shame! Please take a moment to cast your vote for Jen. The winner gets a donation to the charity of their choice.

Please click on the link to view a video from Jen and cast your vote! Energizer Hall of Fame.

Ride Like A Life Depends On It

January 31, 2010

Today we were part of a life-changing event. We participated in the 4th annual Cycle for Survival, a 4-hour studio cycling event, benefiting the research and treatment of rare cancers through Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center.

Hosted by Equinox Fitness Clubs, over 600 teams gathered to spin their way through the day; sweating, cheering and supporting one another to fight this debilitating disease.

Some rode in memory of a loved one, some rode to celebrate the fact that they could, and some rode to support someone that couldn’t. We all rode as if our lives depended on it, and silently prayed that we would never have to.

Cycle for Survival’s remarkable and intrepid founder, Jennifer Goodman Linn, shared that she recently received the news that her cancer had returned for the 5th time, and would be resuming treatment next week. Her strength and determination is an inspiration to many, and a gift to those who are battling cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with her as she begins her journey again.

Next week the ride resumes in Chicago, and the fund raising continues throughout the month of February.

Thanks to all of our readers who supported this very special cause. Your generosity is helping to save lives and change the face of cancer treatment.

To make a donation log onto: http://www.cycleforsurvival.org

photo courtesy of spencer jones

Keep the Wheels Turning

November 8, 2009

Bicycle Wheel Silhouette

In December 2004, Jennifer Goodman Linn was diagnosed with MFH Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that affects less than 1% of all patients.

Jen has since endured 4 surgeries, and over 30 months of chemotherapy, all while maintaining her role as a senior level marketing executive, and avid studio cyclist.

While undergoing treatment at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Hospital, Jen vowed to find a way to express her gratitude, and help others who were battling obscure, or “orphan” cancers like herself.
During treatment, Jen discovered the empowerment that her indoor cycling classes provided. She credits the ritual of pushing herself physically to the best of her ability with helping to save her life.

In 2007, Jen and her husband Dave founded Cycle for Survival, an indoor team cycling fundraiser envisioned to “reward, and challenge the mind, body and soul.” Anyone that has participated in this event can attest to its success, both financially and inspirationally.

Anyone who has met Jen, can attest to her drive and enthusiasm that seems to be unwavering.  When I met her several years ago, she immediately confided that she “had cancer, wore a wig and went for chemo every Friday afternoon”. She just put it out there, and moved on. I have never ceased to marvel at her resolve, optimism and ability to make things happen, despite the obstacles her illness has thrown her way. Being part of last years Cycle for Survival literally left me in awe.

Someone once suggested, that we should reframe what happens in our lives. Instead of asking, “why is this happening TO me?”, we should ask” why is this happening FOR me?”

Jen truly embodies that spirit and has taken her personal tragedy and turned it into a triumph.

Last year, the event, raised $1.2 million, all of which went to Memorial Sloan- Kettering for the research and treatment of rare orphan cancers.

This year, the event has expanded to 2 locations in New York, and another in Chicago. The New York events will take place on Sunday, January 31, at Equinox locations in midtown.

“The fact that this event has directly benefited patients motivates me to keep going.” Jen said. “We’ve gained momentum, and we have already changed the way we’re fighting this illness. I have great hope that this will ultimately lead to more treatment breakthroughs and higher survival rates for those with rare cancers, so that more of us will live to tell our unique tales.”

To join the ride, or donate to the cause, please go to http://www.CycleforSurvial.org, and click on my team, ”Shari’s Spinners”. Please help us keep the wheels of progress turning to fight this deadly disease.

Photo: Glasshouse Images


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