Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

Some Beautiful Words Leading up to Cycle for Survival

Hi Everyone, We are at $1.825, so close to the $2MM mark! I have been touched by some beautiful words this week and I wanted to share them with you. The first is an excerpt my mom wrote regarding why she gets involved in Cycle for Survival. The second is my friend Serina's solicitation email. Why Do I Cycle? - By Sandy Goodman, Jen's Mom (1/26/10) Why I cycle? Ha! Certainly NOT my idea of a good time! At 62 years old and somewhat physically wimpy, the gym was not on my daily radar. But, there was my feisty daughter, 5 years ago, the 33 year old “gym rat, “ in fabulous physical condition, who was suddenly diagnosed with a rare cancer. She dealt with the surgery and chemotherapy, but did not let it overwhelm her life. Probably any request from her would have been honored, but her suggestion to me was simple, “Learn to spin, Mom. Follow my lead, and let’s us continue to be optimistic, proactive, and strong so we can tackle the road ahead.” So in the face of adversity, Jen Goodman Linn, became certified to be a spinning instructor, and provided the path for HOPE for all our family. We became spinners. Now when my life gets complicated and stressful, I pause, focus on my beautiful daughter’s will to live and zest for life, and go to the gym to spin with this powerful feeling of invincibility. I won’t give up in that room! Spinning is where I bond with her in spirit. My love pushes those pedals and this spinning medicine keeps us all tough to fight tomorrow. Email from my friend Serina, a fellow survivor and former sorority sister My Dear Family and Friends, As most of you know, I was diagnosed with an aggressive, advanced stage breast cancer nearly two and a half years ago. Over a year ago, I finished 16 months of grueling treatment. For me, treatment meant drastic, extensive surgery, followed by five months of A/C/T chemotherapy, then a second surgery, followed by 6 weeks of radiation and 52 weeks of herceptin infusions to battle the specific aggressive cancer that I had. It also meant 365 days of the oral chemotherapy drug lapatinib, that I took as part of a clinical drug trial at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Today, I am cancer-free and looking forward to celebrating my 40th birthday in April. This Sunday, January 31, 2010, I will be captaining a team again for the Fourth Annual Cycle for Survival fundraiser. Although Cycle for Survival is less than a week away - I am only now focusing on it. There are a number of reasons for my delay. First, I have been extremely busy. I am happy to report that I am back at work now and really enjoying it. At the same time, I am raising my three healthy children and trying to find balance between work and home, so that my health never suffers again. Finally, there is one reason above all that it has taken me so much time to sit down and write this letter. In the quiet of my mind - I simply don't want to be reminded of cancer. It took so much from me and from my family - for a long and frightening time. You see, for me, it's over. For now and, God willing, forever. At the same time, I know that my family and I have the extraordinarily talented and dedicated doctors of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to thank for this gift. And what an awesome gift it is - the gift of my health, my life, more time with my husband Paul and our children, and the reality that someday I may hold my grandchildren; the gift of realizing, when the dust settled, that the hopes and dreams of my life have remained intact. So now I will focus. I will think about cancer. And I will stare it down again next Sunday, January 31st, with the hope that more people like me will someday have the chance to say: "I don't feel like thinking about cancer today." What an exquisite luxury that is. I am so grateful. I loved this email a lot. It is not easy to continue to take cancer "head on" fact most patients get involved in a cause for a year or two and then move away when the cancer is not such a constant reminder. I do feel that it takes a certain amount of accountability and responsibility to commit to the cause over the long haul and purposely not run away from it. We are the ones truly paying it forward.