Powerful, positive feelings from Cycle - the story of Sydney Becker
It's extraordinary to me how the impact of Jen and Dave's creation, Cycle for Survival, continues to grow. And, when I say "impact", I am not solely referencing the incredible fundraising achievement of this year - the almost $8.2 mm that will now go straight to Memorial Sloan Kettering for cancer research. Rather, I am talking about the human impact, the way the event makes people feel.
Over the days since Cycle this year, I have been struck by the number of people who told me how much the experience of participating meant to them. For some, it was because they did not realize how big the event really is. For others, it was that participating compelled them to want to do even more in coming years. And, for others, it was simply of a feeling of hope and empowerment - that in a world that doesn't always feel influenced by the outcomes we want, we can take control and impact the future.
I wanted to share some of the reflections that were sent to me after the event, and one that was particularly poignant. It was sent to me by Jeff Becker, the father of Sydney Becker. Sydney is 13 years old and lives in Livingston, NJ (Jen's hometown). She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma last January and beat it by the end of last year, after having major surgery to remove most of her tibia and all of her knee (replaced with titanium parts). Sydney's parents were very involved with Sandy and Len Goodman and two of Jen's high school friends, Jeanne Silberman and Greer Gelman, in planning this year's very successful Livingston Cycle satellite event, which raised over $350K this year. Sydney is not only connected to Jen, but also to Perry (see the last post on YouFearless.com at http://www.youfearless.com/blog/perry-reflects-cycle-and-being-fearless). They share a doctor, Dr. Meyers, and Sydney and Perry had the chance to meet at the 5th Avenue Cycle event this year, an hour of which Jeff Becker kicked off (see the video at http://bit.ly/z0Z3RE).
Here is an excerpt of Sydney's reflections on Cycle for Survival from her own blog (http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sydneybecker):
"Overall, all of the events that I attended (Livingston, New York City, and Long Island) were truly amazing. I wish I had a larger vocabulary, because there are so many words to describe Cycle, and I don't think amazing is even close to strong enough. Although even if I did, I still don't think any of them would be able to describe it. There is no better feeling in the world than being in a room with all of those people, all the music going, and the crazy amount of energy in the room. And in that moment, you just feel that anything is possible. In those moments, I believe that there will be a cure for cancer, and it will be soon. I believe that there is hope for everyone fighting cancer. I believe that there is hope for all of those who have never had cancer, that they will never get it. It is so inspiring, you just feel as if you can change the world. Pretty soon I'm going to start off in a rant on trying to explain how amazing Cycle is, and it's going to make sense to absolutely no one, so I'm going to stop before I get there. I am so excited for next year!"
Fighting cancer is about research. Research requires money and dedicated, exceptional doctors and scientists. But beyond all of that, fighting cancer requires a fearless attitude and inspiration. Sydney, thank you for sharing your unbelievably positive spirit and beautiful writing with all of us!