Source: New Jersey Patch
Jennifer Goodman Linn died of a rare cancer in 2011, but not without first starting one of the most successful fundraisers in the history of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
During the seven years that the Livingston, NJ native battled malignant fibrous histiocytoma sarcoma of the abdomen, Linn started Cycle For Survival, an annual stationary exercise bike fundraiser. Linn, a graduate of Duke University, focused on fundraising for rare or “orphan” cancers that might not have been as visible as the more common types.
From 2007 until her death in 2011, Cycle for Survival raised $9 million. Eleven years later, the annual event has raised nearly $300 million to fund rare cancer research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
One of Linn’s best friends since elementary school, Deena Beatty Weissman, has led a Cycle For Survival team for 14 years. And this year, some of her former classmates from Livingston High School ’89 have put together a team to enter an event on May, 14 rain or shine, at the Haines Pool, led by Rita Masini and Lynn Turkus Rosenthal.
Masini shared her memories of Linn: “Our senior year, we ran a large fundraising event for Make A Wish Foundation in what was then called South Mountain Arena in West Orange,” she said. “It was a huge success in the community.
“She fought for every dollar raised to go directly to research. She used her strong business and social network to make Cycle For Survival, and partnered with her beloved husband to create something that would last forever and change the world. She always dreamed big and exceeded at everything she did.”
Rosenthal adds, “She had an energy and commitment that was inspiring and we all rallied behind it. It quickly became a movement that was not only about supporting her, but supporting our mothers, our fathers, our colleagues and anyone else we knew touched by cancer.”
According to Cycle for Survival spokespersons and media releases, “Rare cancer research is often underfunded, leaving patients with few or no treatment options. About half of people diagnosed with cancer are battling a rare cancer which includes brain, ovarian, pancreatic, and pediatric cancers; leukemia, sarcoma, and lymphoma, among others. But the Cycle for Survival community helps fill the funding gap and make breakthroughs possible.”
Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan now has a Jennifer Goodman Linn Laboratory of New Drug Development In Sarcoma and Rare Cancers.