Hi everyone, it’s Dave here. I know I haven’t posted in a while, but something happened this week that compelled me to write.
I realize it’s been a while since the last You Fearless post, but sometimes it’s not the easiest to get people to tell their fearless stories. It takes: being fearless. And I have to tell you how wonderful it feels to be able to share a new story - a new perspective.This is a very special blog post from Marisa Thalberg. I know Marisa through Jen – first, as a fabulous friend; second, as a fearless supporter of both Cycle for Survival and Breast Cancer Awareness which she champions in her leadership role at Estee Lauder; and third, as a very special “executive mom”. It is a phrase Marisa coined to describe herself and others like her. She brings them together on a powerful platform which connects professional women in a meaningful community at www.executivemoms.com. But Marisa’s accomplishments across the many dimensions of her life, of course, comes as no surprise because – as we all know – Jen was an absolute magnet for extraordinary people. “Like attracts like” as they say.Jen and Marisa first became friends in 1993 in advertising at Saatchi and Saatchi, where she was actually Jen’s first boss! Jen and Marisa stayed very close friends over the years. In the photos here, you can see them at a party during those early years of their friendship and then at Cycle with Marisa’s older daughter Hannah (the same year Hannah asked her birthday gifts be donated to Cycle for Survival).It’s no surprise to me that Marisa took the time to share this very special blog post with all of us.
Perspective is a remarkable thing. This morning, I might have had some fear around sending two of my children (the little ones) for their first week-long trip away. This afternoon, I might have had some anxiety around my own trip to Europe for a business trip. I might have acknowledged fear in either situation. But, instead I sat down to read two submissions to You Fearless that I had been intending to post to the site, and I realized I not only had nothing to fear, but also that those fears were so incredibly small relative to the courage of two people: Perry Zimmerman and Nikki Ferraro.
This post is going to seem at first like you have mistakenly opened a business blog - not the blog of You Fearless, started by Jennifer Goodman Linn. But I encourage you to read the full entry and you'll see why it's the embodiment of You Fearless spirit. This is a story inspired by Michael Lazerow's post to Facebook this morning about the transaction of his company and what it truly meant to him - and to his heart.
At Jen's service last July, I held on to every word, every recollection, and every beautiful story. And, I found that I was touched by the love that came through in every brave syllable. Through my uncontrollable tears, I remember being particularly struck by the words that Alicia Sands, Jen's dear childhood friend, shared with everyone. As I heard her humor through her pain and felt her genuine love, I thought that all girls should only be so fortunate to experience the depth of true friendship that Alicia and Jen shared. To not only have a friendship that stood the test of time from childhood to adulthood but for it also to be so heartfelt is truly an extraordinary gift.
And so, it came as no surprise that Alicia found many very special ways to remember Jen - including the genius of developing a custom nail polish color with Opi to raise funds for Cycle for Survival. Here is a very special blog post from Alicia, whose friendship with Jen is a true inspiration to us all...
Dave introduced me to Larry and Anne Zimmerman at a kick-off event for this year's Cycle for Survival back in the Fall. Larry and Anne are the parents of Perry Zimmerman, whose book report was featured here a few posts back. Perry is currently undergoing treatment at MSKCC for osteosarcoma and is an amazing example of being fearless! At this year's event, I felt very fortunate to get to meet Perry in person and tell her how special she was to me. I had emailed with her parents and thought of her often, but it was so meaningful to meet her. When I talked to her at the Cycle event, I asked her if she would consider writing a post for You Fearless, never imagining it would work for her busy schedule.
And so I share with you here the reflections of a beautiful 11-year old girl on this year's Cycle for Survival.
Cycle for Survival is here! This weekend, events will be held in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Long Island! And next week, it's New York, DC and Chicago! Dave already packed his bags and is on the ground ready to go for the first ever Los Angeles ride.
Today, we have a special YouFearless blog post from Dave...
While I’m fired up and ready to have a fantastic 2012 season, there have certainly been moments over the past months where I’ve been challenged by fear. From stepping into the Cycle spotlight, to doing TV interviews (not as easy as Jen made it look!), or to returning to the business school campus where Jen and I met to speak about Cycle to a group of YPO members, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being somewhat fearful at times.
As you all know, Cycle for Survival is around the corner. The remarkable fundraising effort that Jen imagined and developed together with Dave will raise millions of dollars this year - ALL of which will go straight to cancer research. Every single penny. I don't think anyone reading this blog needs inspiration around the importance of Cycle, but it never hurts to remind us all why Jen's mission, OUR mission, to eradicate fear and ultimately cancer from the equation is so important. At the kick-off for Cycle this year, Dave Linn introduced me to a lovely couple - the Zimmermans - and told me about their 11-year old daughter, Perry.
Perry is a shining example of the reason we must all redouble our efforts to raise money for Cycle and support research at MSKCC. A student at The Cathedral School, she often reads the You Fearless blog, spending time with the latest posts and also deriving strength from Jen's original words and videos which fortify Perry during her more challenging moments. She knew and LOVED Jen. Perry is currently being treated at MSKCC for Osteosarcoma, and her story is nothing short of inspiring.
During this holiday week, no matter what your traditions, I hope you have A moment to cherish THE moment. The beauty of the holidays for me is a chance to slow down, think more, and appreciate. It is my privilege to share this post from Andrew Stern, a close friend of Jen and Dave from business school.