Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

June 10th – Celebrating Life Beyond Cancer

Survivorship has been a movement that has gained great momentum over the past few years. The Lance Armstrong Foundation donated over $1million to MSKCC two years ago to kick-start efforts to start examining “survivors” – how they adapt back to life – physically and emotionally. Just the fact that survivorship is now something to focus on shows how far cancer research has progressed. It used to be that most people died of cancer so there was no reason to spend resources thinking about life beyond cancer. Thanks to advances in medicine, this is no longer the case. More and more energy is being put towards understanding how to “track” the health and well-being of survivors 5, 10, 20+ years beyond cancer. What side effects or health issues tend to linger? What are the psychological side effects that cancer introduces to a patient over time? The hope is that this effort will allow oncologists to not only treat a diagnosis but also treat a patient over their lifetime.

Last year, I was asked to be part of the survivorship committee at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The MSKCC survivorship committee, comprised of cancer survivors that MSKCC has treated, was asked to develop a day that celebrated survivorship. Today, we got to see the fruits of our labors. A day that was beyond inspiring! Today, I proudly took part in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Inaugural Rock & Run on the River, an all-day event that celebrated the 11 million survivors of cancer nationwide.


The festivities included a 5K walk/run along the Hudson River in lower Manhattan followed by food, music, activities, and much more. Over 1000 cancer survivors and their “supporters” showed up in full force to make the world take notice.

I was so proud to be associated with this event and to be surrounded by so many stories of inspiration. No matter the age of the person, the type of cancer he/she had, or the number of years since the person had been treated, we all found something in common over which to celebrate – the fact that we are ALIVE!

The Hebrew word "Dayenu" means approximately, "it would have been enough for us" or "it would have sufficed.” The song, sung during Passover, is about being grateful to God for all of the gifts he gave the Jewish people, such as taking them out of slavery, giving them the Torah and Shabat, and had God only given one of those gifts, it would have still been enough. I thought of this word a lot this week. The MSKCC event would have been enough of a highlight to last for a few weeks but Dave and I were fortunate enough to experience two amazing things this week.

Dave plays in a basketball league at the Reebok Club and one of his friends, Mike, was turning 40. His wife decided to throw him a surprise birthday and she rented the basketball court at Madison Square Garden! It was amazing. Dave and his buddies got to dribble down the same court as Patrick Ewing, Bernard King, Walt Frazier and Willis Reed. Sorry Dave, I know you’re turning 35 this coming year but I don’t think I can top that one!

I continue to feel really great. The spinning studio has been my friend and I have gotten lots of workouts in. Besides having some mouth sores and stomach aches, I can’t complain.

Have a great week everyone!