Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

MESSAGE FROM DAVE LINN – Jumping Into New Challenges

Hi Everyone!   Many of you have checked in to see how I’m doing – thank you, I’ve been so very touched by all the support.   Apologies that I haven’t been able to get back to many of you, but that’s because I’ve been staying busy, which I think is probably a good thing.   However, since many of you asked similar questions, I thought it would be helpful for me to post an update here (along with some pictures!). 

Most of you asked me (1) how I’m doing, (2) what I’ve been up to, and (3) how we can all best carry Jen’s inspiration forward.  Those seem like pretty good topics so here it goes.  As you might know, I tend to be a bit more reserved than Jen in terms of sharing info, but in the spirit of being Fearless, I will try to put myself out there with this update.  

How I’m Doing

All things considered, I’m doing OK.  Similar to what many of you are experiencing, I of course have my moments, especially when something happens I know Jen would enjoy and I’m not able to share it with her.  But as much as possible, I’m trying to take it day-by-day and focus on all the positives she brought to the world in general and to my life in particular. 

Maybe a good way to describe it – soon after Jen died, I felt 99% terrible with barely a small sliver of excitement that I’d be embarking on new challenges in my life.  But now with each successive week, that sliver of excitement grows and while I of course will always miss Jen, I am starting to look forward to the experiences, challenges, and unpredictable nature of what will happen in the coming months and years.

What I’ve Been Doing

You’ll be happy to know that I’ve been keeping busy, which helps keep me in a positive frame of mind.  Here’s a quick list of some of the highlights of the last 3 weeks.  It’s a pretty good list, I think Fearless Jen would be proud!

  • AJW Memorial Basketball Tournament – Our good friend Richard runs a charity basketball tournament in memory of his wife Andrea who died of pancreatic cancer.  Interesting side note – despite Richard’s lack of height and some would say lack of basketball skills, Jen always called him the MVP because Richard just so happened to hit his only 2 shots (I think he was 2 for 20) during the only 2 moments when Jen looked up from chatting with friends while watching us play a couple years ago.  Of course, even to this very day, Richard never misses a chance to remind me that he’s the MVP in Jen’s expert opinion!
    But back to the basketball - it’s an incredible (and exhausting!) weekend, complete with actual college basketball coaches, a full-on player draft, and a high level of ball that includes a couple ex-NBA players (for example, check out John Wallace jumping about 4 feet above the 4 “defenders” in one of the pics above).  Some of you might know that in terms of rating my hoops abilities, the nicest thing you can probably say is that I’m a pretty good soccer player.  However, after my team went undefeated and won the championship game in OT, I’m now the only player to win 2 titles in the 3 years of the tourney’s existence!  Of course this had more to do with getting drafted onto a great team than my own ability, but still, I’ll take it.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think MJ had 6 titles so I’m on my way.  Actually, I think Jordan’s more pedestrian teammate Jud Buechler collected 3 titles, which is probably a better comparison so I’ll shoot for that next year.  
  • Sag Harbor and East Hampton – After the hoops tourney, I was off to the beach for a week with a mix of friends new and old.  It was an incredibly therapeutic time filled with running, biking, paddleboarding, kayaking, bbq-ing, ice cream, margaritas, raft races, and as you see in the first picture above, airborne football catches while jumping into the pool.  Thanks to everyone who was there - I can’t thank all of you enough for a really special week!
  • English League soccer – Our friends Woody, Kathy, Billy and I have been talking for the last few years about doing a trip to England to watch soccer.  Jen always wanted me to go, but we could never make it work, and I didn’t want to leave during her treatments.  So it was a huge thrill when I called the crew to suggest we finally do the trip, and they dropped everything to make it happen.  It was the trip of a lifetime – we saw 4 great matches in 3 days in London and Manchester (Arsenal v Liverpool, Chelsea v West Brom, West Ham v Leeds, and Man Utd v Spurs).  We even found time to catch up with a few friends from school (Lewis Russell and Chris & Liz Hogbin) who live in the area and have always been loyal supporters of Jen and Cycle for Survival.   

Jen and I always told each other that if either of us wasn’t around, we very much wanted the other to continue living life to the fullest.   As you can hopefully tell from these 3 highlights, I’m trying my best to do so, despite the difficult circumstances.   

Carrying Jen’s Inspiration Forward

In addition to making time for fun, I’ve spent much of my time figuring out how to best carry Jen’s work forward.  During Jen’s treatments over the last 7 years, I promised her that even if the research efforts were too late to help her, we would do everything possible to help the millions of other people affected by rare cancers.  In that vein, we absolutely must continue the great work she started, and I invite all of you to please join me in that effort.  We have decided to focus on 3 areas: (1) Cycle for Survival, (2) Jen’s book – I Know You Mean Well BUT, and (3) 

Cycle for Survival

First, some people asked if we are continuing with Cycle for Survival.  This is not even a question – Of Course We Are!  And we need to make the 2012 events the best ever so let’s start spreading the word.

Many people consistently ask if I need anything or how they can help me. The answer is simple – get more involved in Cycle for Survival so we can do everything possible to make sure people don’t have to suffer like Jen did.  And remember, it’s not a marathon or triathlon.  If you’ve ever ridden any kind of bike at any time in your life, then you can ride in Cycle for Survival and raise funds to provide treatment options for millions of patients.  There’s no plainer way I can say it.  Jen established the base, but it’s on all of us to carry it forward.

You can register your teams on the Cycle website right after Labor Day, but now is the time to mark your calendar and spread the word, especially to your friends in LA, SF, and DC who might not be as familiar with the magic that is Cycle for Survival.  Here are dates:

Saturday, Feb 4 Los Angeles, San Francisco, Long Island

Saturday, Feb 11Chicago, New York City

Sunday, Feb 12 Washington, D.C., New York City

Jen's Book

Moving to our second area of focus, you’ll recall from Jen’s posts that she was working on a book, which was to be a humorous guide to What to Say and What Not to Say when someone is dealing with cancer.  I’m very happy to report that Jen’s brother Brett is taking the lead on the book, and we will be working hard over the coming months to bring this project to fruition.  


Our third and final area is continuing what Jen called her purpose in life – to be a role model and demonstrate that anything is possible when you remove fear from the equation.  Many people tell me how much they love the site and everything it stands for.  Therefore, we will keep the site and Jen’s purpose very much alive.

Jen’s dear friend Janet Balis is the perfect person to carry the You Fearless torch so she will be leading the effort.  Stay tuned for new content, which might include an inspirational Fearless story of the month. But Janet can't do it alone...she'll need your help to find fearless stories to post.  The vision for the site is that it will become our collective place to tell stories and inspire people who would benefit from the You Fearless message.  If you have a fearless story - or know someone who does - please reach out to Janet directly at  You are the folks that will have to fuel this site moving forward. And wait for it…yes, we’re working up to a dance-off inspired by Jen’s Happy to be 40 dance!

So if you haven’t signed up yet to receive an email about new YouFearless posts, please click the purple “Click Here” button at the top of the page, and then enter your name and email address.  And please, keep posting comments as it’s often the best way for me along with Jen’s family & friends to see your support and to keep alive the spirit of You Fearless.  (Of course, if you want to send me a personal message, you can always do so at, but otherwise the posts are a great way to share your thoughts on being Fearless, memories of Jen, etc).     

And since I mentioned a dance-off, I’ll leave you with something that has helped me the last month.  If you ever find yourself sad that Jen is no longer with us, or for that matter, stressed or sad about anything whatsoever, try clicking one of Jen’s dance videos…they are guaranteed to give you a smile.  Here are the links to those 2 blog entries with the videos:

I hope all of you are smiling, laughing, traveling, trying new things, giving back, spending time with friends & family, and most importantly, living and loving as much possible!  

- Dave